When honorable Ned Stark goes to court to serve as the Hand of the King, he places his family into danger at the hands of the Lannisters, who will stop at nothing to stay on top, even as zombie-like White Walkers are killing people in the north, and across the Narrow Sea a deposed princess is amassing an army for an invasion.
What struck me most on this reread of Game of Thrones (I think this is #4 or #5, I can’t be sure), is how thoroughly George lays the groundwork for the complex story that we’ll come to encounter in the next 5 books (and hopefully to be concluded in books 6&7). The scenes between Sansa and The Hound are perfection, and the foreshadowing of Kingslayer Jaime Lannister is tremendously done. Even though I know what is coming, I still couldn’t help getting invested in the characters.
Since I’m so familiar with the story, I’m using this reread as an opportunity to track all the minor characters and plotlines in a way that I haven’t quite done before. George is a genius.