Review: A Game of Thrones – The Graphic Novel, Volume 2 / Author: Daniel Abraham / Artist: Tommy Patterson / Publisher: Harper Voyager / Release Date: Out Now
The second graphic novel adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones series picks up where the first one left off. Here we find Lord Eddard Stark’s bastard son, Jon Snow, coming to grips with life serving on the Wall, whilst Lord Stark himself does his best to respectfully serve as the Hand of King Robert Baratheon in King’s Landing, even though he may not be in total agreement with his liege. We also see the developing marriage of Daenerys Targaryen and her brute of a husband, Khal Drogo, as well as picking up with the ever-charming Tyrion Lannister as he attempts to convince Lady Catelyn Stark that he did not cripple one of her sons. There’s also the ever-looming threat of what wintry terrors lay waiting in the background of the larger story.
Firstly, this is a fun book to pick up. It’s interesting to see the artwork on show, depicting characters imagined a million different ways in the heads of a million different people. Whilst drawing on the hugely popular TV show’s visual interpretation of the characters, Patterson’s artwork has a charm and warmth all of its own. It makes the story a pleasure to read, especially considering some of the heavy, lengthy, weighted-down dialogue that is used at certain points.
Adapting such a ridiculously popular modern-day phenomenon is no mean feat, and this graphic novel could so easily have been bogged down by expectation and overkill. Luckily Abraham’s version manages to avoid these pitfalls, becoming another effective point of attack for the Game of Thrones brand. The story here is brilliantly paced. Staying true to the source material, the book manages to cover all of the depth of Martin’s original work, yet keeps the narrative fluid and progressing at all times. Accompanied by fantastically assured artwork by Patterson, the story just feels tonally right.
A perfect read for fans of the original Martin works or the HBO series, this graphic novel is fully respectful to what has gone before it, yet manages to be its own beast in the process. It isn’t as gruelling or time-consuming a read as the original books, but it still manages to cover certain plot points and background stories that have been overlooked by the TV series. I, for one, am eagerly awaiting the next instalment of this graphic novel set, and hope that it continues to keep the high standards set by Abraham’s adaptation.