Hot Best Seller

The Science of Game of Thrones: From the genetics of royal incest to the chemistry of death by molten gold - sifting fact from fantasy in the Seven Kingdoms

Availability: Ready to download

A myth-busting, jaw-dropping, fun-filled tour through the science of your favorite fantastical world. Award-winning comedian and popular-science writer Helen Keen uncovers the astounding science behind the mystical, blood-soaked world of Game of Thrones, answering questions like: Is it possible to crush a person's head with your bare hands? What really happens when royal f A myth-busting, jaw-dropping, fun-filled tour through the science of your favorite fantastical world. Award-winning comedian and popular-science writer Helen Keen uncovers the astounding science behind the mystical, blood-soaked world of Game of Thrones, answering questions like: Is it possible to crush a person's head with your bare hands? What really happens when royal families interbreed? Does Cersei have Borderline Personality Disorder? What curious medical disorder does Hodor suffer from? And more. Join Keen as she investigates wildfire, ice walls, face transplants, and every wild feature of Westeros and beyond, revealing a magical world that may be closer to our own than we think. The Science of Game of Thrones is the ultimate guide to the epic series as well as the perfect gift for science-lovers and fans. So pour yourself a bowl of brown, climb on your beast of burden, and prepare yourself to see the Seven Kingdoms as you have never seen them before.


Compare

A myth-busting, jaw-dropping, fun-filled tour through the science of your favorite fantastical world. Award-winning comedian and popular-science writer Helen Keen uncovers the astounding science behind the mystical, blood-soaked world of Game of Thrones, answering questions like: Is it possible to crush a person's head with your bare hands? What really happens when royal f A myth-busting, jaw-dropping, fun-filled tour through the science of your favorite fantastical world. Award-winning comedian and popular-science writer Helen Keen uncovers the astounding science behind the mystical, blood-soaked world of Game of Thrones, answering questions like: Is it possible to crush a person's head with your bare hands? What really happens when royal families interbreed? Does Cersei have Borderline Personality Disorder? What curious medical disorder does Hodor suffer from? And more. Join Keen as she investigates wildfire, ice walls, face transplants, and every wild feature of Westeros and beyond, revealing a magical world that may be closer to our own than we think. The Science of Game of Thrones is the ultimate guide to the epic series as well as the perfect gift for science-lovers and fans. So pour yourself a bowl of brown, climb on your beast of burden, and prepare yourself to see the Seven Kingdoms as you have never seen them before.

30 review for The Science of Game of Thrones: From the genetics of royal incest to the chemistry of death by molten gold - sifting fact from fantasy in the Seven Kingdoms

  1. 5 out of 5

    Heidi The Reader

    Readers beware: there are major spoilers contained within the pages of The Science of Game of Thrones. Do not read it (or this review) unless you've read all of the books that are currently out or have watched all of the seasons of the HBO show! That being said: if you are a fan of the Game of Thrones, in any format, you simply must read this book. From dragons to the effectiveness of female body armor, poisoning to the real possibilities of our world ending in ice or fire, Keen takes us on a sc Readers beware: there are major spoilers contained within the pages of The Science of Game of Thrones. Do not read it (or this review) unless you've read all of the books that are currently out or have watched all of the seasons of the HBO show! That being said: if you are a fan of the Game of Thrones, in any format, you simply must read this book. From dragons to the effectiveness of female body armor, poisoning to the real possibilities of our world ending in ice or fire, Keen takes us on a scientific examination of all things related to George R.R. Martin's epic series and what a trip it is. My favorite part was a discussion about how dragons would breathe fire in real life and how that relates to the explosive capabilities of cows: "A cow can produce between 250 and 500 litres of highly flammable methane a day... In 2013 it was reported that a build-up of methane from a particularly afflicted dairy herd, coupled with an accidental spark of static electricity, 'nearly blew the roof off [the] barn' in Rasdorf, Germany... After a lot of genetic tinkering, a Danearys Targaryen in our world will be able to ride valiantly into battle to claim what's hers on the back of a genetically modified fire-breathing heifer." loc 235, ebook. Can you picture it? I can! The potential positive effects of inbreeding: "... there's evidence that, over time, inbreeding can actually purge a population of the effects of harmful recessive gene variants. These 'bad' genes are way more likely to show their effects, so, ultimately, the lines of the carriers are more likely to die off. Thus while the results of successive generations inbreeding is generally bad for the particular individual, it's often good for the population as a whole." loc 328, ebook. So, the Lannisters can continue paying their debts as long as they're not carrying harmful recessive gene variants. Good to know. The Hodor question: "For a long time we were wondering what happened to Wyllis to cause his 'hodoring' behaviour. Perhaps he suffered a stroke or a tumour, or even a blow to the head. ... Extensive damage to Broca's area is also sometimes caused by malnutrition, but that seems unlikely in Wyllis's case, given his enormous girth. Whatever the story, one thing is clear: Wyllis is clearly exhibiting a severe type of 'expressive aphasia'. He can understand what other people are saying and respond, but he struggles to produce more than a single word." loc 882-895, ebook. Hodor, hodor... hodor! Hodor. Prior to a wonderful examination of the actual existence of dire wolves, Keen has this to say about the Starks and their pets: "The Stark children.. find a litter of orphaned dire wolf puppies and are desperate to keep them- like all children everywhere when confronted with the cute, mewling faces of slavering ferocious death beasts in their juvenile form. Their father Ned gives them a lecture worthy of any parent in Pets R Us along the lines of 'Ok then but you'll have to walk them yourselves even if it's raining'." loc 1160, ebook. Ha! And, finally, I enjoyed learning about crows. Apparently, they're actually extremely smart and have very good memories: "Previous research has shown that crows not only remember a threatening face, they share that knowledge within their community, so that the individual is remembered and scolded by the crows, even after a gap of several years. Young crows, it seems, are even taught to recognise and scold the 'villain' by their parents." loc 1357, ebook. Yikes. Don't bully crows, friends. There's a bit of language in The Science of Game of Thrones and some juvenile humor, but, overall, it is much tamer than the source material. Recommended for ages 14+. Some further reading: What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe or Loch Ness Monsters and Raining Frogs: The World's Most Puzzling Mysteries Solved by Albert Jack. Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for a free digital copy of this book!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Glen

    I won this book in a goodreads drawing. I'm one of those that never jumped on the Game of Thrones bandwagon, but I'm always up for some science learning. The author discusses the science surrounding all of the series' creatures, like zombies, spiders, dire wolves, and especially dragons, and discusses how they would be able to function in the real world. Magic seems to have a great deal to do with all of that. Pretty good. The author knows her science and her series. I won this book in a goodreads drawing. I'm one of those that never jumped on the Game of Thrones bandwagon, but I'm always up for some science learning. The author discusses the science surrounding all of the series' creatures, like zombies, spiders, dire wolves, and especially dragons, and discusses how they would be able to function in the real world. Magic seems to have a great deal to do with all of that. Pretty good. The author knows her science and her series.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    * I was sent this for free from the publisher in exchange for a review * I liked bits of this and didn't like other bits. I'm a big fan if Game of Thrones, both the books and the show so I wasn't sure if this would be good/bad. Turns out it's a little if both for me. Whilst I did find some fact interesting and some of the research and mini experiments included were fun, the humour fell totally flat for me. This book tries a little too hard to be witty and funny, and it just didn't come across to * I was sent this for free from the publisher in exchange for a review * I liked bits of this and didn't like other bits. I'm a big fan if Game of Thrones, both the books and the show so I wasn't sure if this would be good/bad. Turns out it's a little if both for me. Whilst I did find some fact interesting and some of the research and mini experiments included were fun, the humour fell totally flat for me. This book tries a little too hard to be witty and funny, and it just didn't come across to me as I would have liked. There are so many interesting things in a world like GoT and these comparisons to reality were sometimes fascinating and sometimes things I already knew and I would consider fairly general knowledge already. It's the sort if book you can give as a light gift and you can dip in and out of, but it's bit going to be anything more than that unfortunately and I didn't really learn too much new information. Not a bad book by any means (although the humour wasn't my personal taste) but it could have been a little more solidly researched and a bit more in depth. I would have liked some diagrams and more reference to certain specific moments, but as an overview it's not a bad start point. 3* a likeable read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This was a blast on audio, thanks to author Helen Keen’s dry sense of humor and reader Christian Coulson’s performance. I ordered it from my library based on the fact that Coulson was the reader, and it turned out to be a double delight. In short, fun segments, Keen takes a scientific approach to elements of the Song of Ice and Fire series. Would the Dothraki’s campfires get hot enough to melt gold? Would dragons as large as Dany’s really be able to fly? She poses these questions and many more, This was a blast on audio, thanks to author Helen Keen’s dry sense of humor and reader Christian Coulson’s performance. I ordered it from my library based on the fact that Coulson was the reader, and it turned out to be a double delight. In short, fun segments, Keen takes a scientific approach to elements of the Song of Ice and Fire series. Would the Dothraki’s campfires get hot enough to melt gold? Would dragons as large as Dany’s really be able to fly? She poses these questions and many more, and the book even has science experiments you can do at home. It’s interesting, creative, and really funny. I knew Keen and I were going to get along when she explained parthenogenesis: from the Greek parthen meaning ‘virgin’ and genesis, meaning ‘well-known progressive rock band whose songs, let’s be honest, can drag on a bit.’ I don’t really have a favorite section—it was good all the way through. This would make a great gift for GOT fans, especially if they’re science nerds.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Andy Hickman

    “The Science of Game of Thrones” (2016) by Helen Keen Wonderfully insightful, interesting and comical read. Excellent. ***** Part 1: FIRE 1 – HERE BE DRAGONS Dragon Flight: “But [Katsufumi] Sato's conclusions about weight, flapping and flight are disputed by those who definitely believe pterosaurs could fly, who believe that pterosaurs could, pretty much, touch the sky. And they've been thinking about it every night and day.” (p16) Fire Breathing: “A cow can produce between 250 and 500 litres of highly “The Science of Game of Thrones” (2016) by Helen Keen Wonderfully insightful, interesting and comical read. Excellent. ***** Part 1: FIRE 1 – HERE BE DRAGONS Dragon Flight: “But [Katsufumi] Sato's conclusions about weight, flapping and flight are disputed by those who definitely believe pterosaurs could fly, who believe that pterosaurs could, pretty much, touch the sky. And they've been thinking about it every night and day.” (p16) Fire Breathing: “A cow can produce between 250 and 500 litres of highly flammable methane a day … In 2013 it was reported that a build-up of methane from a particularly afflicted dairy herd, coupled with an accidental spark of static electricity, 'nearly blew the roof off [the] barn' in Rasdorf, Germany.” (p20) “Countries that are rich in dinosaur finds, such as China, England and Wales tend to also have a rich mythology of dragons.” (p21) [In nature the creatures that evoke the greatest primal fears are serpents, big cats and birds of prey. So, what do you get if you cross a snake and a lion with an eagle? A dragon!” (p22) 2 – FIRE POWER Wildfire: “'pyromancer's piss'” (p34) 3 – WEAPONS OF WESTEROS Death by Sword: “In 1789 … Dr Joseph-Ignace Guillotin was actually opposed to the death penalty but hoped that bringing in a humane mechanical instrument of execution for all ...would be a first step towards doing away with state-sponsored killing in France altogether. … the guillotine continued to bear his name, even after his family sued to try to get it changed.” (p67) {Error - “... looking at designs from the designs from the Tudor period.”} (p71) “The Greyjoys … of the Iron Born, whose culture bears certain striking similarities to that of the Vikings.” (p73) “Lyanna Stark takes on the men; it's widely suspected that she disguises herself as the Knight of the Laughing Tree and unseats all three of the other knights who had earlier bullied her friend Howland Reed.” (p76-77) “Two Fingers Up” - “Some speculate that this friendly gesture originated as a sign of defiance – Welsh and English archers would wave their two fingers aloft at their French opponents to show they were still very much capable of pulling back the strings of their bows. It was said that the French would mutilate captured English archers out of spite.” (p85) PART 2: ICE Ch.4 – Northern Exposure “Here's the curious thing: Hodor isn't Hodor. His name is actually Wyllis. Well, in the 'A Song of Ice and Fire' books he's called Walder.” (p89) “defenestrating” (p96) Ch.5 – All Creatures Great and Small (and Cold) p117 “The human race is generally getting taller. We've grown on average four inches more since World War I ended.” (p124) “If you measure the edges of a cube and then create a new cube with edges double the length of the original, a strange thing happens. Yes, sure, the SIZE of the cube DOUBLES just as you'd expect, but it's surface area doesn't double along with it; instead it increases FOURFOLD, and the volume of our cube increases EIGHFOLD.” (p126) “The Giant's Causeway” between Ireland and Scotland. (p128) “It doesn't really matter so much about your MASS in the sea; it's your density that counts – hence of course a small dense object like a marble will sink, whereas a huge sphere made of polystyrene will float.” (p133) “Despite their tiny bird brains, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that ravens and crows are as smart as chimpanzees and dolphins..” (p137) “The White Walkers (also known as 'Others') were originally a source of great mystery. What did they want? Were they really as evil and destructive as they seemed? Were they available for children's parties?” (p150) 'Zombie Spiders and Other Body-Snatching Stories' The jewel wasp … wow! (p155-6) “Tropically transmitted parasites are parasites that need some or all of their hosts to be eaten by the next host in the life cycle in order to be transmitted. ... On the other hand – parasitoids are more likely to all-out zombify their victims.” (p158-9) “Inevitably, climate change plays a major roe in 'Game of Thrones'. As George RR Martin told 'Al Jazeera America' in 2013, 'climate change … [is] ultimately a threat to the entire world. But people are using it as a political football instead … You'd think everybody would get together. This is something that can wipe out possibly the human race. So I wanted to do an analogue not specifically to the modern-day thing but as a general thing with the structure of this book.'” (p165) 6 – ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL “The answer to many problems in human history has been 'build a wall.' Sometimes the fortification goes up to keep out bothersome Geordies and Scots (Hadrian's Wall; sometimes it's to stop ice creatures riding around on dead horses, raising armies of zombies (Westero's Wall). Sometimes it's a case of cunningly exploiting the new era of mistrust in an established political class with unrealistic but populist policies (Donald Trump's Wall).” (p167-8) “Ygritte tells Jon Snow about the Horn of Winter, a magical instrument which, if blown, will bring the Wall and all its frozen history tumbling down.” (p169) “There is a story in the Bible … of Joshua and Jericho.” (p170) Kate Bush song 'Experiment IV' has a music video of Peter Vaughan (who played Maester Aemon). (p171) “... the 1883 Krakatoa eruption produced infrasound that circled the globe several times.” (p172) PART 3: MAGIC 7 – MOTHER TONGUE “The interconnectedness of of forests and woodlands is such that some scientists think we shouldn't think of them as separate trees and plants at all, but a single, sentient living organism.” (p195) 8 – REAL MAGIC “George RR Martin compares the 'Others' to the Aos Si {internet for the macron}, a supernatural race from Irish and Scottish mythology who live in ancestral burial grounds.” (p211) Probability Theory: “Imagine you meet Mrs Smith in the street and you have been told she's a mother of two. Then she introduces you to the youngster at her side. 'This charming man is my son!' she says, beaming proudly. What are the chances her other child is a girl? ½! Wrong! There are four possible scenarios: 1.Her first child is a girl and her second child is a girl. 2.Her first child is a girl and her second child is a boy. 3.Her first child is a boy and her second child is a girl. 4.Her first child is a boy and her second child is a boy. Since we know Mrs Smith has a son no.1 can't be true. That leaves us with 2, 3 or 4 as possibilities. As two of these three possibilities give us 'the other Smith child is a girl' the chances are 2/3. (p220-1) - - - {Error on p220: no (') in last paragraph.} {Error on p226: the word “be” has been omitted. “... work in this area may not {} outlawed for quite some time.”} {Error on p233: “... it would explain now he gets around..” The word “now” should be “how”.} 9 – HOW WILL IT END? 'Fire and Ice' by Robert Frost. Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice. (p239-240) “... on Earth, a year is defined as one orbit of the planet around its sun or – if the inhabitants still believe that the sun goes around the Earth – by one complete circuit of the sun through the background constellations of the zodiac.” (p241) Dr Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer at Greenwich Royal Observatory, is mentioned her and also in my other current book I'm reading, 'The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who.' (p242) “Earth's orbit is also very lose to circular, ensuring that the total amount of heat and light received by the planet remains fairly constant throughout the year. This is not the case for some other planets, such as Mars, Mercury and many exoplanets, which have more elliptical orbits.” (p242) {Error on p245: omission as seen below} “During the 'Carrington Event of 1859', … as the shockwaves passed through our planet's magnetic field, electric currents were generated in the long-distance cables of the telegraph network, stunning operators with electric shocks. If such a flare occurred today{, says} Dr Kukula, our satellite, phone and power networks would be crippled.” (244-5) “Each time [a comet] swings close to the sun on its elongated orbit, the icy surface of a comet is warmed by solar radiation, causing it to eject vast clouds of dust and vapor that go on to form a tail millions of kilometers long. Long after the comet itself has returned to the outer regions f the solar system this dust hangs around, close to the sun, and whenever a planet passed through it the larger particles burn up in the atmosphere, producing a meteor shower. (p247)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Only Wants to Read

    I had such a good time reading this book. A highly humorous investigation and comparison of the world of The Song of Ice and Fire and the real world. It is highly informative! In the midst of silly comments and lines that had me cracking up, I learned a big deal about weaponry, climate, ravens, creating new languages (Dothraki) and merfolk. Under Keen's microscope I came to appreciate George R.R. Martin's creative writing even more. Westeros is a complex place, and he placed much attention to de I had such a good time reading this book. A highly humorous investigation and comparison of the world of The Song of Ice and Fire and the real world. It is highly informative! In the midst of silly comments and lines that had me cracking up, I learned a big deal about weaponry, climate, ravens, creating new languages (Dothraki) and merfolk. Under Keen's microscope I came to appreciate George R.R. Martin's creative writing even more. Westeros is a complex place, and he placed much attention to detail in creating it. No wonder it takes the man 10 year to finish each installment! The author does a decent job at keeping a balance between what we see in the show, and what Martin presents in the books. I'm a "book" fan, so it bugs me when people call Asha Greyjoy "Yara." No, her name is Asha and I have no f'ng clue why the producers decided to change it. I had to deal a bit with the discomfort of some of those things, but hey, that's my insanity kicking in. After all, we have no more books and now the show has set up the path to follow until GRRM finishes the next book...or not. There are even a couple of instructions to do your own snow and other easy science projects. Fun stuff! I kindly received an ARC through NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Trevor Sherman

    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influences what I say. As always, my opinions are completely my own. This was an interesting read but read more like a text book from a very twisted middle school then ... well what ever it is supposed to be. Most of the topics were guesswork and that would be fine if the word Science was not in the title. But still it did bring up a few things that I had never thought of, and that was pretty cool. I g I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influences what I say. As always, my opinions are completely my own. This was an interesting read but read more like a text book from a very twisted middle school then ... well what ever it is supposed to be. Most of the topics were guesswork and that would be fine if the word Science was not in the title. But still it did bring up a few things that I had never thought of, and that was pretty cool. I guess I would recommend this to any diehard Game of Thrones fan and it would definitely be a great conversation starter to have on the coffee table. But if you are actually looking for... say the wing to weight ratio a dragon would need to fly? Well then you are a true geek.. no just kidding.. But suffice it to say a dragon would not be able to fly just as giant spiders would not be able to walk (Believe me my son and I did the calculations a few years ago). So if you are looking for a conversation starter at the season 7 finale party then this is what you want so I am going to give it 3.5 stars

  8. 4 out of 5

    Angela Smith

    I would have given this book more stars if the last chapter hadn't almost sent me into a coma. The book started out well with interesting facts and science about things portrayed in GoT. I am sure all of us fellow fans remember key scenes such as when Viserys Targaryen is given a fetching new golden hat from his brother in law. It debunked the scene as being highly improbable due to the fact that the camp fire would not have been able to reach the temperature required to melt gold. There were sec I would have given this book more stars if the last chapter hadn't almost sent me into a coma. The book started out well with interesting facts and science about things portrayed in GoT. I am sure all of us fellow fans remember key scenes such as when Viserys Targaryen is given a fetching new golden hat from his brother in law. It debunked the scene as being highly improbable due to the fact that the camp fire would not have been able to reach the temperature required to melt gold. There were sections about weaponry and mythology in life compared to fiction. On the whole I did find the book fascinating, but the last chapter was devoted to the seasons and climate change, which yes I know is important, but it failed to hold my interest. However, if it floats your boat, you will love it! There are puns aplenty and even some very current political comments (involving Donald Trump) and the wall of ice that keeps out the wildlings and other undesirables in their universe.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This was so much more fun than I was expecting. I bought it on a whim because: 1) It was super cheap at £4, and 2) Game of Thrones is life. That was as much thought as went into the purchase, and I didn't even really read what it was about until I got it home, at which point I promptly devoured it within the day. If you're looking for in-depth explanations and explorations of dragon-lore, weaponry, magic and psychology as they apply to Game of Thrones then you'll probably be disappointed. However, This was so much more fun than I was expecting. I bought it on a whim because: 1) It was super cheap at £4, and 2) Game of Thrones is life. That was as much thought as went into the purchase, and I didn't even really read what it was about until I got it home, at which point I promptly devoured it within the day. If you're looking for in-depth explanations and explorations of dragon-lore, weaponry, magic and psychology as they apply to Game of Thrones then you'll probably be disappointed. However, if you're in the market for Horrible Histories meets Game of Thrones then this is the book for you. Written with a clear passion for the series and an irreverent humour (for instance, comparing Viserys' molten gold crown to the unfortunate head gear donned by Princess Beatrice at Wills and Kate's wedding), Keen comes across with a likable warmth. Particularly amusing is the knowledge that she approached serious academics for opinions on Valyrian steel, wildfire and the long summer, and received in return serious answers. I was pleasantly surprised to learn some interesting titbits along the way, particularly when it comes to the strange vagaries of lizard reproduction. Also, I had no idea direwolves were real, so there's that. (Seriously, I thought they were like unicorns and phoenixes, oops). To begin with I wondered if Keen was a show-only fan, but the more the book progressed the clearer it became that she too is a Song of Ice and Fire addict. She even references the Varys-as-merling fan theory, which delighted me (okay, it's a weak-link attempt to shoe-horn in some cool mermaid mythology, but come on, it's still one step away from getting Cleganebowl in print). There are quite a few niggling spelling and grammar issues - including one stand out sentence worded so awkwardly it sounds as though Cersei was once married to Mad King Aerys II - but they were forgivable on the whole, and could easily be ironed out in a second edition. Overall, I got a lot more than I expected from The Science of Game of Thrones, and will almost certainly be gifting it on to fellow super fans. [Review originally published on my blog at Line After Line.]

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bunny

    But [Katsufumi] Sato's conclusions about weight, flapping and flight are disputed by those who definitely believe pterosaurs could fly, who believe that pterosaurs could, pretty much, touch the sky. And they've been thinking about it every night and day. This book is, in one, oversimplifying word, cool. It just is. It's Game of Thrones, Mythbusters, and the history channel. And it was absolutely fascinating. With section titles like Sex and the Single Dragon, the essays are sharp, funny, and well But [Katsufumi] Sato's conclusions about weight, flapping and flight are disputed by those who definitely believe pterosaurs could fly, who believe that pterosaurs could, pretty much, touch the sky. And they've been thinking about it every night and day. This book is, in one, oversimplifying word, cool. It just is. It's Game of Thrones, Mythbusters, and the history channel. And it was absolutely fascinating. With section titles like Sex and the Single Dragon, the essays are sharp, funny, and well put together. So many aspects of Game of Thrones, from dragons to sword making to walls of ice, broken down and investigated and "What If?"'ed. The majority of the bookmarks I made in this were just for subjects I want to read more about. Some basic, like why have I never read about the Spanish Inquisition? How did I not know that the US government thought loading bats with napalm and flying them into enemy territory was a good idea? Where do I find out more information on Damascus steel? How do people find out stuff like this, I NEED MORE INFORMATION. Each subject is exceptionally well researched. I'm tickled by the idea of all these scientists and professors being asked to give their opinions on wildfire, 700 foot walls of ice, and what dragons would really be like. And the fact that they did! Not every subject was a success. The first chapter of the book focuses on dragons, and almost all of the information is focused around komodo dragons. Which are not even close to comparable, and this sets a really bad tone for the book. Luckily it picked up after that, but I wish she'd started with something else. Also, I'm confused about the lack of an introduction. I realize I was reading an ARC, and I'm hoping the finished product will have an opening. Because it's a waste not to have a chapter telling your audience what they're about to get themselves into. I like intros far more than I do back-of-the-book blurbs. I cannot stress enough that this book is so freaking cool. A must-have for any Game of Thrones fan, book readers and TV show watchers. There's something in here for everyone.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Holly Tracy

    It was a bit of a struggle to get through this. It seemed like it was trying too hard to be funny, but doesn’t quite get there...or sometimes does, but then takes it too far and it’s not funny anymore. A lot of lazy misspellings for a “fan” of the show/books. The content I’m reading this for - scenario on GOT meets real life potential or history was good, but sometimes went off script and never really concluded with substantive content. It’s a short book, 250 pages, but I’d say the actual conten It was a bit of a struggle to get through this. It seemed like it was trying too hard to be funny, but doesn’t quite get there...or sometimes does, but then takes it too far and it’s not funny anymore. A lot of lazy misspellings for a “fan” of the show/books. The content I’m reading this for - scenario on GOT meets real life potential or history was good, but sometimes went off script and never really concluded with substantive content. It’s a short book, 250 pages, but I’d say the actual content couldn’t been condensed to 40 pages, give or take. I got this at a used book sale and am fine with what I paid for it, but wouldn’t pay a dime more. It did help me stay on topic towards those last few days leading into the GOT S8 premiere!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Yoder

    I expected this book to be some droll fandom with a dash of science, but I was delightfully mistaken. I actually learned a few things about science while also spoiling the heck out of the two remaining seasons I need to watch in order to catch up. Genetics, astronomy, seasons, dragons. . . this was some entertaining reading blending some real knowledge with the wacky violent world of GOT. Rather funny as well. I got an advance reading copy in exchange for the possibility of writing a review. I'm I expected this book to be some droll fandom with a dash of science, but I was delightfully mistaken. I actually learned a few things about science while also spoiling the heck out of the two remaining seasons I need to watch in order to catch up. Genetics, astronomy, seasons, dragons. . . this was some entertaining reading blending some real knowledge with the wacky violent world of GOT. Rather funny as well. I got an advance reading copy in exchange for the possibility of writing a review. I'm grateful I snagged the book, too.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gijs Van

    George R.R. Martin is often praised for his worldbuilding. It's vast, detailed, and super realistic. or is it? This book tries to answer that question as good and interesting as possible. It not only covers the simple science of it "Could ice zombies really exist and how would they work?", it also keeps the reader engaged with jokes, commentary, and small factoids strewn into its text. In order to answer more detailed questions "Would it really work to temper a freshly forged sword in blood Azor A George R.R. Martin is often praised for his worldbuilding. It's vast, detailed, and super realistic. or is it? This book tries to answer that question as good and interesting as possible. It not only covers the simple science of it "Could ice zombies really exist and how would they work?", it also keeps the reader engaged with jokes, commentary, and small factoids strewn into its text. In order to answer more detailed questions "Would it really work to temper a freshly forged sword in blood Azor Ahai style?" Keen takes the help of experts in the field, from blacksmiths to historians to linguists. All of this creates a small, yet dense book that somehow still reads away easy as pie. My only wish is that it would be a bit longer so that she could go more in depth about some things, but given the simple breadth of subjects, I can't complain too much. What I will complain about however, is the art. Most of it is simple and funny enough, except for this one f*cking spider they keep tossing in every now and then. Now it's not too realistic or anything, but having rather severe arachnaphobia this was still quite annoying. Other than that a great book I can recommend to everyone interested in the niche of "How real is this fake thing?"

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shannan

    Confession. I didn't expect much from this book. I thought it would be a "make basic science interesting to dumb people" kind of read. As a 'self identifying non-practicing scientist' I don't look for remedial science curriculum made easier. But here is my verdict. This book is good. Really good. It assumes you have read/watched all the GOT content and doesn't pull back on wild tangents. Do your fire and ice pre-reading. You will discover all that is fun and good about speculation. Euthanasia rol Confession. I didn't expect much from this book. I thought it would be a "make basic science interesting to dumb people" kind of read. As a 'self identifying non-practicing scientist' I don't look for remedial science curriculum made easier. But here is my verdict. This book is good. Really good. It assumes you have read/watched all the GOT content and doesn't pull back on wild tangents. Do your fire and ice pre-reading. You will discover all that is fun and good about speculation. Euthanasia roller coaster. The neuroscience of Hordor. Warging, the truth about armour and boobs, the science of the biggest flying dinosaurs -Quetzalcoatlus, the application of Crispr cas 9 and much more. It is a pleasure to revisit Westeros and have it explored in this way. This book is also instant author follow bait for a fiction/nonfiction ambivores like me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Geery

    As a physicist and a GoT fan I had to read this, right? And it was hugely enjoyable! It wasn't quite what I expected, but all the better for that in the end. The author definitely takes you on a Gendryesque meander rather than a swift Varys point to point journey and there's a lot of information drawn from working scientists, science journals, etc. A light touch but a lot of science from across the board, genetics to explosions to planets, gets in there. There are also a fair few typos but it wa As a physicist and a GoT fan I had to read this, right? And it was hugely enjoyable! It wasn't quite what I expected, but all the better for that in the end. The author definitely takes you on a Gendryesque meander rather than a swift Varys point to point journey and there's a lot of information drawn from working scientists, science journals, etc. A light touch but a lot of science from across the board, genetics to explosions to planets, gets in there. There are also a fair few typos but it was just about enjoyable enough to ignore that... But the book never really gets too heavy or takes itself too seriously and so it's a really fun thought provoking read. And now I'm wondering how to get Game of Thrones into a discussion about magnets....

  16. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    My sister picked this book up for me on a whim in a local shop after it had been reduced in a sale to the astonish price of £1, and I have to say it was a steal. What a great little book! It was filled with fascinating scientific theories and wonderful little facts that truly astonished me, and I only wish that I had a better memory for such things because they would be great little conversation pieces at social gatherings. This book was funny as well, which I really enjoyed, and helped to make My sister picked this book up for me on a whim in a local shop after it had been reduced in a sale to the astonish price of £1, and I have to say it was a steal. What a great little book! It was filled with fascinating scientific theories and wonderful little facts that truly astonished me, and I only wish that I had a better memory for such things because they would be great little conversation pieces at social gatherings. This book was funny as well, which I really enjoyed, and helped to make all of the science that much more relatable somehow. I highly recommend this little treat of a book to anyone, regardless of whether or not they're a fan of the series (book or TV show).

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jules

    I found this book both entertaining and educational. I have watched some of the television series and read some of the books but would not class myself to be a Superfan . However I still enjoyed reading it and found the majority of the information in it to be interesting with the science side clearly explained. But you do need to have had some exposure to the Game of Thrones books or TV series to understand the non-scientific references. I felt the authors sense of humour prevented the book fro I found this book both entertaining and educational. I have watched some of the television series and read some of the books but would not class myself to be a Superfan . However I still enjoyed reading it and found the majority of the information in it to be interesting with the science side clearly explained. But you do need to have had some exposure to the Game of Thrones books or TV series to understand the non-scientific references. I felt the authors sense of humour prevented the book from being something that took itself too seriously. I was lucky to get this book through the Goodreads giveaway scheme (browse, giveaways)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sherrie

    I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway and gave it a grudging three stars. I had difficulty with the first few chapters because 1) they contained remarkably little science considering the title, 2) the (debatably) humorous asides and parenthetical remarks were far too frequent and far too infrequently funny, and 3) the pop culture references that might be meaningful to Brits were just distracting to me as a non-Brit. It did get better, and I learned a few things, but it was a long wal I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway and gave it a grudging three stars. I had difficulty with the first few chapters because 1) they contained remarkably little science considering the title, 2) the (debatably) humorous asides and parenthetical remarks were far too frequent and far too infrequently funny, and 3) the pop culture references that might be meaningful to Brits were just distracting to me as a non-Brit. It did get better, and I learned a few things, but it was a long walk for a little information and a little entertainment. I think it would have been better as an audiobook.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joe Kessler

    A fun little pop science book, offering nuggets of learning all vaguely related to the TV show Game of Thrones. The topics range all over the place -- the section on dragons alone discusses what we know about the flight patterns of ancient pteranodons, the breeding habits of komodo dragons, and how long eggs of any species can go without hatching -- but it's all entertaining and informative, and the material is definitely elevated by author Helen Keen's sense of humor. There are spoilers through A fun little pop science book, offering nuggets of learning all vaguely related to the TV show Game of Thrones. The topics range all over the place -- the section on dragons alone discusses what we know about the flight patterns of ancient pteranodons, the breeding habits of komodo dragons, and how long eggs of any species can go without hatching -- but it's all entertaining and informative, and the material is definitely elevated by author Helen Keen's sense of humor. There are spoilers through the sixth season of the HBO show, but any reader who's caught up to date will learn and laugh plenty.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Schuyler

    I enjoyed this quite a lot, but not because I am a die-hard GoT fan or anything like that. This is more like: 10% GoT references 20% humor 70% fun facts which is why it appealed to me so much (and maybe not so much to some GoT fans). The general format involved introducing some common question or development in the world of GoT and then trying to figure out if it was realistic by referring to historical events, biological effects, cutting edge technology, or referring to case studies. I really like t I enjoyed this quite a lot, but not because I am a die-hard GoT fan or anything like that. This is more like: 10% GoT references 20% humor 70% fun facts which is why it appealed to me so much (and maybe not so much to some GoT fans). The general format involved introducing some common question or development in the world of GoT and then trying to figure out if it was realistic by referring to historical events, biological effects, cutting edge technology, or referring to case studies. I really like these "random" facts from a variety of topics and the author delivered them with a good dose of humor making it more enjoyable as well.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anastasia Cheetham

    This book was a fun re-visit to the world of Westeros, reminding me of lots of plot details I'd forgotten, and informing me of some I don't recall at all. It made me want to re-watch the show. The author tries to tie elements of that world to the science in our world, revealing lots of interesting tidbits about our own world in the process. I think the author's humour is better suited to her background in live shows and radio; it doesn't seem to translate well to the written page, sometimes sound This book was a fun re-visit to the world of Westeros, reminding me of lots of plot details I'd forgotten, and informing me of some I don't recall at all. It made me want to re-watch the show. The author tries to tie elements of that world to the science in our world, revealing lots of interesting tidbits about our own world in the process. I think the author's humour is better suited to her background in live shows and radio; it doesn't seem to translate well to the written page, sometimes sounding a bit like a transcript of an audio session. I think written humour needs to be approached differently. That said, if you're a fan of the show and interested in science, it's worth a read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Derek A Scott

    Lacks detail, brief and more of a conversation Far too general, lacks detailed discussions and not really worth buying. For example, the poisons section doesn’t really even discuss what targets or mechanisms might be, mainly discusses real life historical examples of poisoning. Very disappointing. If you are looking for things to be explained or hypothesised about with some detailed science, you will be disappointed. Vague, general statements made about some areas of science. Subsections are quit Lacks detail, brief and more of a conversation Far too general, lacks detailed discussions and not really worth buying. For example, the poisons section doesn’t really even discuss what targets or mechanisms might be, mainly discusses real life historical examples of poisoning. Very disappointing. If you are looking for things to be explained or hypothesised about with some detailed science, you will be disappointed. Vague, general statements made about some areas of science. Subsections are quite short and fails to make the most of what could have been a very enjoyable book. Save your money. Sad, because I had high hopes for it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Houlihan

    When I plucked this off the display shelf, my reaction was "This should be a short book." And it was; though longer than any of its science warrants, it was amusing. (I admit skipping the bit about ice spiders because spiders.) Points off for "Game of Thrones" rather than "Song of Ice and Fire," for "northwest" as two words -- on the very first page -- "privilege" with an e in the second syllable, and for other stupid slips. Some points back for TMBG, Kate Bush, and David Bowie references, and f When I plucked this off the display shelf, my reaction was "This should be a short book." And it was; though longer than any of its science warrants, it was amusing. (I admit skipping the bit about ice spiders because spiders.) Points off for "Game of Thrones" rather than "Song of Ice and Fire," for "northwest" as two words -- on the very first page -- "privilege" with an e in the second syllable, and for other stupid slips. Some points back for TMBG, Kate Bush, and David Bowie references, and for suggesting that Santa is a White Walker.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Game of Thrones + Science + History + Humor. I loved this book immensely as it combined several of my favorite things. Keen did her research in taking aspects of the show and books to find their real world counterparts, while talking to scientists, engineers, historians, etc to find out the answers. It reminded me, in a way, of What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, but with the narrowed focus of Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones + Science + History + Humor. I loved this book immensely as it combined several of my favorite things. Keen did her research in taking aspects of the show and books to find their real world counterparts, while talking to scientists, engineers, historians, etc to find out the answers. It reminded me, in a way, of What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, but with the narrowed focus of Game of Thrones.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kelli Santistevan

    I finished reading this book last night. I started reading this book after catching up in the A Song Of Ice And Fire series and I just wanted to read more about Westeros because I miss Game Of Thrones and being immersed in the world of the books. I’m just waiting now for the last 2 books in the series to be released. I’ve watched the tv show and I liked it. I found this book interesting and I learned a lot of things. I would recommend this book to anyone who has read the books and watched the tv I finished reading this book last night. I started reading this book after catching up in the A Song Of Ice And Fire series and I just wanted to read more about Westeros because I miss Game Of Thrones and being immersed in the world of the books. I’m just waiting now for the last 2 books in the series to be released. I’ve watched the tv show and I liked it. I found this book interesting and I learned a lot of things. I would recommend this book to anyone who has read the books and watched the tv show already because there are spoilers in this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ivy

    I enjoyed reading Helen Keen's exploration of various scientific explanations for the creatures and phenomenon that occur in GoT. She has a fun sense of humor that was generally beneficial to the presentation of the information, making it more accessible to the average reader, but sometimes it was more distracting as the jokes detracted from the seriousness of some topics. Which was fine, I still enjoyed it, and learned a fair amount of trivia about studies and realities in our world. Violence: N I enjoyed reading Helen Keen's exploration of various scientific explanations for the creatures and phenomenon that occur in GoT. She has a fun sense of humor that was generally beneficial to the presentation of the information, making it more accessible to the average reader, but sometimes it was more distracting as the jokes detracted from the seriousness of some topics. Which was fine, I still enjoyed it, and learned a fair amount of trivia about studies and realities in our world. Violence: None Drugs: Mild Sex: Mild Language: None

  27. 4 out of 5

    Walt

    It was ok. The science was more like real world science which is tangentially related to a topic in Game of Thrones rather than how the fantastical aspects of Game of Thrones work. Sometimes the relation to Game of Thrones was really tenuous. The author attempts to be snarky through out the book but this is often over done and so frequent as to be more of a distraction than an enhancement to the book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Otto

    Mildy amusing book with some interesting science commentary on dragons, weaponry, linguistics, etc. It was amusing enough for me to finish the book, but there was little new material for me. Basically it's a good book, but probably better for somebody who hasn't already read a lot of science / tech books. Mildy amusing book with some interesting science commentary on dragons, weaponry, linguistics, etc. It was amusing enough for me to finish the book, but there was little new material for me. Basically it's a good book, but probably better for somebody who hasn't already read a lot of science / tech books.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Dique

    This book was excellent! A super easy, light read with just the right amount of science and humor and of course, Game of Thrones content. It's written in a way that is great for anyone like me with a touch of A.D.D. All the science bits were to the point and so interesting as stand alone topics, plus how they relate to concepts in the show/books. This book was excellent! A super easy, light read with just the right amount of science and humor and of course, Game of Thrones content. It's written in a way that is great for anyone like me with a touch of A.D.D. All the science bits were to the point and so interesting as stand alone topics, plus how they relate to concepts in the show/books.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Plus a half star - very entertaining and easy to read. Learned quite a bit about meteorites and swords and so forth - and a good bridge between finishing the box set and series 7. Made me remember some of the things I enjoyed most and maybe wish I'd read the books as his world is very well put together. Plus a half star - very entertaining and easy to read. Learned quite a bit about meteorites and swords and so forth - and a good bridge between finishing the box set and series 7. Made me remember some of the things I enjoyed most and maybe wish I'd read the books as his world is very well put together.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...