Review: You Either Win Or You Die In 'Game of Thrones' #14


By Jorge Solis

Eddard Stark wonders what he should be doing now that he knows Cersei Lannister's dirty little secret in "Game of Thrones" #14. If Eddard continues to withhold the truth any longer, he risks putting the lives of his two innocent daughters in danger. Eddard is about to learn that when you play the game of thrones, there is no middle ground; you either win or you end up dead.

(Spoilers ahead!)

With the king and half his court gone off hunting, Eddard sits in the ruler's absence at the Iron Throne. While sitting uncomfortably, Eddard must make difficult decisions that will either help or hurt the kingdom. It is only a matter of time before more blood is spilled. Gregor Clegane has drawn first blood with his vicious raiding party. Now, Eddard has to appease the victims who are crying out for justice, but they are demanding vengeance.

What I particularly enjoyed about Daniel Abraham's adaptation is his focus on the characterizations. Eddard is dealing with a court full of ambitious liars and calculating back-stabbers. Eddard is never certain of who amongst his advisors he can truly trust. He is only certain someone will betray him at any moment. Even when Lord Varys offers his advice, he is really thinking about how the situation benefits him first.

While political moves are taking place, Abraham steers the story along to the sibling rivalry between Sansa and Arya. Blinded by love, Sansa is unwilling to see that Joffrey is a true monster. Sansa refuses to believe her younger sister is right about him. What does Arya do when she can't make her point across? Like a spoiled brat, Arya throws a piece of fruit at Sansa's face.

What really makes this comic is Tommy Patterson's attention to detail in his artwork. Patterson uses natural lighting to highlight the overly spacious interiors. In the opening pages, the court room is luminous because the walls are lit by torches and the sun's rays. Ivan Nunes enriches the medieval setting with his bright collage of colors.

A major highlight of Patterson's artwork is the character's facial expressions during long monologues. While Patterson transitions between the past and present, Tyrion Lannister is narrating his tragic tale. Patterson captures the right reactions on Tyrion as he remembers when his heart was broken by his wife. Patterson establishes sympathy for Tyrion, making readers feel sorry for someone who should be considered a laughingstock.

If you're a fan of George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy novels, then you're definitely going to enjoy "Game of Thrones" #14. The characterizations remain faithful to the book and the artwork is quite striking. If you want to know why everyone is talking about the TV series, then this issue of "Game of Thrones" is a good place to start.

Click here to read a preview of "Game of Thrones" #14: