The first thing I will say about A Game of Thrones is that since The Lord of the Rings, I don't think I have ever read a fantasy novel set in a made up world that is so detailed and different from our own and yet so similar and real. The amount of creative energy and research (yes, creating believable fantasy settings does require research) that must have gone into creating the world of the Seven Kingdoms and the Dothraki is mind-blowing. I can only hope that one day I will be able to create a world that vivid and detailed.Another unbelievably detailed aspect of A Game of Thrones is the plot. There is just SO much going on in this book that it's hard to keep up with it all. Martin handles his many points of views masterfully. The MANY pieces of the plot and the mysteries come together slowly in a way that gives the reader a chance to guess what is going on before the characters do. This makes the book a very rewarding read.The excruciating detail that had to go into the plot and setting of A Game of Thrones was very daunting. I couldn't help but think, "Why am I even trying to write in this genre? There's no WAY I'll ever be able to come up with plots as complicated as this or settings this vivid." I still feel that way quite a bit, and even more so now that I'm half way through the second book in the series, but I have decided to press on anyway. I don't think I will ever write anything like what George R. R. Martin has written, but after some thought, I realize that I don't really want to. My characters are more character-based than plot-based, though I do like creating detailed fantasy worlds.There was something lacking for me in A Game of Thrones that is always present in books I love. That something is a connection to a character. Within a A Game of Thrones, there seems to be hundreds of characters, and nine of those get their own POV chapters. Despite this unlimited choice, I didn't fall in love with ANY of Martin's characters. There are many reasons for this. The most obvious is that not enough time was spent on any one character. Every time I started to feel a twinge of fondness for one, the chapter would end and I would not get another glimpse of her for another hundred pages. Unfortunately, that is the risk when you try to write from so many different points of view. Another reason is that a lot of characters seemed very... cookie-cutter. Arya was the stereotypical tomboy, Sansa the girly-girl, Eddard the honor-always-comes-first nobleman*. I've seen all of these characters before so for most of the book they bored me (Note: the CHARACTERS bored me, not the plot). The only POVs I found remotely interesting were Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen. However, I never grew to care much about them just because I didn't get enough uninterrupted time with them. That being said, I do like them, and they are the main reason I picked up the second book.