Beyond the Wall is a wonderful companion read that allows the reader to view the remarkable series of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and its striking cast of characters in new ways.
It delves into our concept of good and evil and discusses how no clear line is drawn between the two in the world of Westeros and beyond. Most of the characters aren’t clearly good or purely evil. The essays discuss how we’re able to look past some of the character’s misgivings and not others. It offers insight into what certain characters are thinking and why.
The world this series takes place in is a brutal one not totally unlike our own. A few of the essays discuss the role of women in the books. How their strengths and weaknesses are exploited and the dependence on men for both.
I thought one of the most interesting essays was Daniel Abraham’s essay about adapting the graphic novel. Having to bring to life in pictures something each reader probably conjures differently and trying to decipher what small introduction or scene from the book are insignificant now, but may play a greater roll in the unfinished novels yet to come, seems no small feat.
This book would lead to great book club discussions of how characters react to the terrible situations they are put in and the moral implications of those actions.
The significance, or lack there of, of the direwolves, how magic is placed in the novels and what part it plays are also topics discussed in this book.
If you’re a fan of this wonderfully epic book series or hooked the HBO version, I think you will really enjoy this in-depth look into the world and characters George R. R. Martin has created. Be forewarned though, it does contain spoilers.
This book was provided for review by Netgalley.