I was texting my predictions as I read along, or sometimes chatting online as I read. My general comments on the story become more numerous as I go. (Reading on a kindle so I give %s, not page #s. I thought later about labeling by specific chapters but, man, this is for fun, that seems like homework!)
A Game of ThronesEnd of First Chapter
Big giant signpost in the form of a dead direwolf with five normal pups and one creepy albino pup, killed by a stag, which is obviously Ned and (a few pages later) obviously the Baratheons. NOTE TO READERS: NED GONNA DIE.
I think Jon Snow is the secret son of Robert and Lyanna because otherwise this plot is dumb. No, wait, I changed my mind, I think it's Rhaegar and Lyanna so Jon can unite the warring sides of Tagaryn and Stark in the face of whatever greater, supernatural threat is forthcoming. (I suppose that'd make it creepy if he married Danerys but I'm only like 200 pages in so I assume more female characters are forthcoming.) Bran will become the great wizard obviously and Arya the unlikely female warrior.
Arya will eventually be forced to stab Sansa in the last book or two or else Ned wouldn't have warned her not to.
This book is like Jungian archetypes all the way down, I don't understand why people get so pissy about spoilers.
When Jon finishes his hero's journey and finds out he's not actually a bastard (or else he is a bastard but a royal one and for some reason it doesn't matter … but I think he'll turn out not to be one and Rhaegar and Lynna got married for Reasons, because DEAR LORD IS THIS AUTHOR OBSESSED WITH BASTARDRY), Robb will be his knight, Bran his wizard, and Arya his unlikely female warrior who relies on speed. Presumably Sansa learns to manipulate people in the drawing room and gets less simpering or she wouldn't have POV chapters so she shall be the Diplomat.
Khal Drogo has to die and then Dany will probably invade things, elsewise there's no reason to give her an army and definitely not one she'd have to command through her husband; she can't run around with armies and dragon eggs if she has to drag a husband and ask permission, and this plot is going to run out of steam if she doesn't start invading things with this gigantic army. I suppose she would marry Jon, they make a Targaryn cousin marriage point in the first 200 pages and I initially thought Robert and Lyanna so Jon could marry her uncreepily. I know she ends up with dragons eventually. She has no constituency in Westeros but obviously a supernatural threat is coming they'll all have to unite against even if they don't want to.
[You are terrible for guessing and ruining plot] Well, it's fairly Joseph Campbell with all its Jungian archetypes, and he's putting lots of pistols on mantles to fire them in the third act.
Also clearly Sansa will be bad life decision theater for a while and maybe will do something un-Stark-like (i.e., lacking honor). She'll either be the Susan (from Narnia, who abandons God for sex) or the Diplomat depending on whether she defects or returns to her family. Haven't decided if Ned killing Sansa's direwolf means she's cut off from the Starks or just in grave danger but will later be redeemed.
Catelyn is boring but she seems like a catastrophe magnet. Half her family are maimed or dead by page 300.
This is basically an entire D&D party all having coming of age novels in one epic.
I assume Robert's oldest bastard turns up with one of the Stark girls later on or Ned wouldn't have wasted an entire paragraph thinking about her and her age in relation to his own daughters.
Ned is kind of a dumbfuck.
Okay seriously dudes this bad at anticipating other people's strategies don't win wars. [Mike: He's HONORABLE.] This is a boy book.
END Game of Thrones:
Everybody who's king at the end of Book I is going to die, probably horribly. (Joffrey, Renly, Robb.) Robb is going to die, probably unhappily, you should never get yourself crowned in Book I. Especially when the series keeps expanding.
Catelyn will eventually do something magical, probably as a result of having one too many catastrophes, possibly rage-induced. [Tell me more.] She's had all these quasi-magical premonitions of events (note: such as that the antler in the direwolf was a sign), and everything she fears comes to pass, sort of like a Cassandra. If Catelyn stops to worry about it, it'll happen. I expect her magical thing will be in some fashion catastrophe-induced as she is a walking catastrophe magnet. [an interesting mix of terrifyingly accurate and dead wrong] She's very afraid of Robb dying so I expect he will die shortly. Also she is afraid of war so that's obviously upcoming. She is ODDLY UNCONCERNED with Rickon so I expect him to survive the next book.
Tyrion will probably continue to say sassy things. He announces dramatically at the end of the chapter that he never bets against his family, so I assume he will eventually bet against them AND KILL THEM.
Cersei will outlive Jaime, but they'll both die before the end. You can mostly guess how quickly people are going to die based on how non-standard their sex lives are, by modern standards. Sir Jorah's dishonor he blames on a woman coercing him into it, so he'll be allowed to be relatively honorable but eventually will be dishonored. Tyrion, who waits for enthusiastic, informed consent from his whores (Shae) and wants them to be informed in advance, will probably come through at the end as a hero. Shae seems like she's probably bad news or we wouldn't spend so much time on her. Unless Tywin is going to murder her, I guess that might be a reason. But I think she's probably bad news. GRRM is going to be judgy about whores.
Theon is smarmy and Bran doesn't trust him, so obviously he will be terrible.
[Kathryn: What was surprising?] I was moderately surprised that Khal Drogo didn't die in actual battle. But not surprised Dany miscarried. [Ned dying?] Not surprised, it was signposted in the first few pages and then Catelyn worried about it. Also Jon Snow is the protagonist and he needed more daddy issues. I was moderately surprised that GRRM skipped graphic descriptions of, like, Ned's death and a couple other things, but I guess just because I know the HBO show is very graphic. Little surprised Robb became “King in the North” but mostly because that means he'll die sooner than I thought.
Notes on GRRM: he does not know a lot about child development, teenagers, or pregnancy. Or how clothes are made. Not complaining, you can't know everything about everything. But it is a less-creepy book if you try to ignore the ages of the young characters. [Kathryn: They're aged up in the HBO show.] Yeah, Dany would be a lot more believable at 17.
GRRM is judgy about sexual relationships. People who attempt to coerce others or have disapproved-of sexual relationships will end up evil and/or dead (Joffrey, Jaime, Cersei, Verys, Littlefinger). People who wait for enthusiastic consent for adultery are good (Tyrion, Drogo, Robert) as are those who respect their marriage vows (Ned). The “rapers” with Jon at the wall are actually okay dudes because the girl was inside the window begging them to come in. Whores who sell sex will end up bad/evil/dead (Shae). Buying sex is okay as long as you're kind to the whores (Tyrion). Rhaegar will have to have NOT raped Lyanna (as Robert claimed he did) for Jon Snow to be Rhaegar & Lyanna's legitimate son; Lyanna will have had to have wanted it.
I'm a little unclear on why Dany gives a shit about the Iron Throne but whatevs. She escapes her horrible brother, lives among the horse people as a princess, and has never even been to Westeros. It'd be better if she didn't care until they (the Westeros council/king) tried to kill her more times.
I have figured out how A Song of Ice and Fire ends: Bob Newhart wakes up and it was all just a really weird dream.
The master page with all my commentary and predictions so far is here.
The master page with all my commentary and predictions so far is here.