TBR Thursday: “Crack for the Nerds” and Game of Thrones

Photo c/o DepositPhotos.com

Photo c/o DepositPhotos.com

A while back, as part of my grand resolution list for 2016, I vowed to read for pleasure again. You warned me–you really did. And yet, there I was, starting for the third time to read George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones. I’d always stopped after chapter two, reminding myself I don’t read epic fantasy.

This time, I reminded myself that I had loved Lord of the Rings very much once my friend Nick finally shamed me into reading it. So I plowed on, the book feeling deceptively small since I’m reading it on Kindle.

Until a couple of days ago, when I re-read a horrific event three times to make sure I hadn’t misread it, looked at the bottom of the Kindle screen and realized I was at the 1% mark. One percent of that damned book read, and I’d already had my heart broken.

You did try to warn me. Don’t get attached to the characters–the “great bearded glacier” is infamous for killing off his characters.

Which made me think of a couple of books I have coming down the pike that have some major character deaths in them. (No I’m not saying which books or which characters because a) it would be spoilerific and b) I might change my mind or c) my editor might change my mind.)

How do you guys feel about characters’ deaths in the books you read? I was thinking about the thing that shocked me so in this book, occurring especially so early, and about the fate of characters. I think it has to serve a purpose. So far, the immediate purpose of this particular bit of heinousness is to establish the evil nature of the two other characters involved. It certainly accomplished that–I’ll cheer when those characters die.

I think the character death that hit me the hardest was that of Kisten in Kim Harrison’s HOLLOWS series. I didn’t understand why it was necessary. In fact, it took me three books to finally accept that he really wasn’t coming back. Hearing the author’s explanation that it wasn’t time for Rachel to have her happily-ever-after, which she was about to have with Kisten, so he had to go…well, as an author that made sense to me. As a reader, I still sigh over the loss of Kisten.

How about you? Have you had a memorable book character death that hit you hard? Did you think about why it was done?

Share your thoughts for a TBR book or two! Oh, and if you wondered where I stole “the great bearded glacier” and “Crack for the nerds,” I have to credit the Geek and Sundry Youtube video that cracked me up even before I began reading this massive tome.


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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

22 thoughts on “TBR Thursday: “Crack for the Nerds” and Game of Thrones

  1. with this one you are sure to have your heart broken a lot, lot of time …..
    i usually don’t like when a character dies…and it’s not always understandable why either… Kisten death surprised em for sure and i hated ( still do ) it.. i was also heartbroken over the dead of one of your character ( won’t say more for those who wouldn’t be that far yet) i did see why that one has to be done though even if i still have a little sadness over it

    • Yes, I’m trying to prepare myself. I have six novels to judge for this year’s RITA awards by March 6, though, so I won’t be reading any more GoT for a while, unfortunately.

    • Yeah, I agree. I will let my characters get beaten and bruised, but I try not to kill them (except for the bad guys, of course) unless there’s a really good story reason for it to happen. At least that’s true now. Read on for my comment to Roger–LOL.

  2. I will confess I’ve gotten used to my favorite characters dying, especially in movies and tv series. It’s even gotten to the point that when I say I like a character my friends exclaim that I doomed the character.
    So I’m always expecting my favorite characters to croak. I’m even (happily) surprised when they survive.

    • Oh, that’s kind of sad. Yes, I imagine a character would hate to hear you’ve grown attached to him or her–it’s like a death sentence! (Just kidding!)

  3. I think that I was the most upset when J.K. Rowling killed of characters in the Harry Potter books.

    • Oh yes, I forgot about that. I was most upset about Remus and Tonks, but there was a big body count. But there needed to be. When you’ve been building to a big showdown/war for six books, the stakes are going to be high. (I maybe should warn Sentinels and Penton readers of this as we approach the final books to those war-building series!)

    • Ah, poor Lucy. She is the one regret I have as far as characters I’ve let die. REDEMPTION was only the second book I’d ever written, and I hadn’t yet learned the art of looking down the road in a series and looking at longterm consequences or possibilities. And Lucy was an interesting character. If Lucy were still with us, she might have ended up with Nik.

  4. At the end of The Magicians, by Lev Grossman… there is a very VERY sad major character death. I didn’t believe it at first and had to re-read the whole part! Clearly I was too attached. But I do think it was necessary to accomplish the ending – otherwise it would have been way too easy and seemed like a lazy, overly happy/tidy ending.

    • I haven’t read that, although I had it in my TBR stack for a while. That’s tough, but it sounds as if it was one of those deaths that has to happen in order for the plot to move in the direction it should.

  5. When JR Ward killed off Wellsie the mate of Torhment, I couldn’t believe it. I hate it when favorite characters are killed off. I don’t have the same reaction with the villains.

    • Oh, Wellsie. Yes, that one upset me, too. And I guess it gave Tohr a whole journey of his own to go through that he might not have had she not died and taken part of him with her. But still….

    • Yes, Ms Ward is certainly capable of breaking hearts! I admit that I’m wayyyy behind with this series. It was one of my favorites but I didn’t quite get into the younger generation once the original brothers had been married off.

  6. I understand why Ned Stark from GAME OF THRONES had to die, but he was such a noble character. That one hurt.

    • Sigh. I dread that–I already like him. (Don’t worry–it wasn’t a spoiler because I already knew he died, although I still don’t know the circumstances.) I’m whining over what happened to little Bran. 🙂

  7. I think I got over this when Charolette died. Charolette’s Web. I refused to read further until my mom made me. It turned out okay in the end. It was hard to lose Kisten. It was hard to lose Dumbledore. (I dread the tears when my 9 year old gets to that.) As long as I am invested in the life of another character, I am okay. I am hopeful that like in the Web, it will also turn out ok. I almost put one of the follow up thrones novel when my favorite character died. I plodded on, and (like in the Web) it all turned out okay.

    • I think authors usually try to make it okay, and to show the reader why a certain character had to die for the ending to work out. That being said, it’s still no fun!

  8. It is hard to be so very invested in a character and then have them die. Charlotte’s Web was my first intro to such and though I understood the why of it in the story, I still hated to have to see it.

    • Then again, I guess it means the author has done a good job of getting you emotionally invested with the character. Which, from an author POV, is always a goal 🙂