When I started reading A Game of Thrones, the first novel in George R.R. Martin’s epic, big-book Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series, my favourite character was the 14-year-old Jon Snow. I liked his pluck, and I thought ultimately he would turn out to be the hero of the whole thing. The note inside the dust jacket said that the next book in the trilogy would be out next year. It was early 1997. I was 16.