The Power of Stories

In July 2015, I didn’t have a single clue about the next story that awaited me. In the library, I aimlessly looked for a good Young Adult novel to read. However, almost all of them were supernatural romances or Hunger Games rip-offs that failed to capture my attention. I was looking for something different—something I could remember for a long time…

I sat down on the grey carpet, chin in hand, pondering what to do. Finally, I chose to scan the adult section. Although only twelve years old, I was ready to challenge myself. After a few minutes, I saw a blue spine with a rapier sword towards the bottom of it. The silver words decorating the spine were A Game of Thrones. The title was familiar, as I had heard of a TV show of the same name. All I knew about the show was that it had dragons. Fantasy is my favorite genre, so I checked the book out.

I devoured the novel in less than a week. A Game of Thrones is the first book in the critically acclaimed A Song of Ice and Fire series. The novel follows the various kings, queens, and lords who covet the Iron Throne of Westeros. The intrigue, betrayals, and unpredictable twists left twelve year old me in utter awe.

George R.R. Martin was courageous to explore the perspectives of individuals not too common in literature. Such examples include Tyrion Lannister, the imp who used his wits and intelligence to navigate the great world staring down at him, Jon Snow, the bastard who became the shield that guarded the realms of men, Bran Stark, the crippled boy who learned how to fly, and Daenerys Targaryen, the exiled princess who unleashed the dragon inside her. These complex personalities are what made me fall in love with the world of Westeros…

After a year passed, I had read what Martin had published—books six and seven are not out yet. I thought a good way to pass time waiting for the next novel to come out was to watch its television adaption. HBO’s Game of Thrones was being hailed as one of the greatest shows and adaptations of all time. Naturally, it piqued my interest. The show was rated TV-MA. The rating was unsurprising, given the extremely mature content. As a thirteen-year old, I was unable to watch it unless my parents permitted me. They didn’t know about the mature content in the series. Alas, I decided to explain my favorite book series to them and why I wanted to watch its television adaption. Surprisingly, they allowed me to watch it—provided they watched it with me.

And so, one summer after I had picked A Game of Thrones for the first time, my parents were introduced to the story. Although it could be awkward at times, we loved every moment of it; discussing the story with my family brought us closer together, which is why it holds a special place in all of our hearts

The fall semester of sophomore year was the toughest point in my life. My whole life seemed to be falling apart. Yet, I was able to keep myself together. Why? Because of A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones. I would spend hours consumed by the videos predicting the last season of the show. My love for Westeros and its inhabitants helped me conquer this rough period in my life. And I did. As C.S. Lewis once said, “We read to know that we’re not alone.”

With Jon, Daenerys, and all of their allies and enemies, I know I’ll never be alone. 

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