Study Guide

A Clash of Kings Coming of Age

By George R.R. Martin

Coming of Age

A Clash of Kings serves as a formative entry in many characters' stories. Characters that started as innocent children, such as Arya and Sansa, begin to realize the true harshness of the world without their father's protection. Former misfit Tyrion finds a place in society where he feels he belongs, and Dany becomes a strong, independent woman in her own right. These personal journeys play into the novel's coming of age theme. Because remember: Age is just a number. And even grown-ups have some growing up to do.

Questions About Coming of Age

  1. What young character would you say grows up the most during the story? How do you read this character's coming of age, and what does this say about this theme in the novel?
  2. Do any adult characters come of age? If so, who and how do you see him or her coming of age? If not, then why not? Either way, how does this affect your reading of this theme in the novel?
  3. Pick another coming-of-age novel you've read. It can be another fantasy, such as A Wizard of Earthsea, or something along the lines of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. How is that story's use of this theme similar to how we see it in A Clash of Kings? How is it different? What does this suggest to you about the coming-of-age theme as a whole?

Chew on This

Martin picks his point-of-view characters in each novel based on the coming of age theme. If a character has a POV chapter, then they'll be learning some life lessons for sure.

This theme connects the entire series together, meaning no character's coming-of-age story concludes in A Clash of Kings.