Game of Thrones

We just finished season 1 of Game of Thrones last night. Yes, we’re a year behind everyone else in the world. It was very well done and chock full of geek show alums (Ronin, Sarah Connor and Boromir just off the top of my head). Peter Dinklage as Tyrion really steals the show. Great character and very well portrayed.

I read the first three books of the Song of Ice and Fire series a few years ago, so it has been awhile. But everything I can remember from the books, I recall seeing in the show. Nothing was cut that stands out in my mind, though I’m sure there were bits chopped out. Even at 10hrs, you can’t do everything that occurs in an 800page book, nor would you want too.

When I read them, it was before book 5 was on any release schedule. When I finished book 3, I heard book 4 only focused on half the characters, one of those half the story now, half the story in the next book things. Since there was no prospect for when 5 would come out, I never bothered to read book 4.

Another reason I didn’t keep reading the books was they were always so depressing.  I was unprepared for that going into the series, thinking them your typical fantasy novel where good always triumphs. I like this more gritty, realistic take on a story where whose good and whose bad aren’t always clearly defined.

I really liked the Daenerys storyline, but as far as I can remember, it was still completely unconnected to the entire rest of the story. For three books, the Dothraki were coming but never did. The poor Starks, once so happy in the North, were now scattered, and if I remember correctly only about half of them were still alive. Watching the show I kept expecting them all to die, but finally remembered it was only Ned that does in book 1. The rest come later.

It is definitely more true to life that many of the best people end up dying. But that also makes it hard to keep reading, knowing pretty much everyone will die. I enjoyed them to be sure, but at the end of book 3, so many people were dead it almost felt like what was the point in continuing.

I think the tv version handles this better. You have less invested, 10hrs of viewing per book is less time than it takes to read a book.  We’ll see where I stand after season 3 of the show is done (assuming it makes it all the way through the books). When we get to season 4, I won’t have read the books so might decide to go ahead and read all of them.

Since we’re likely to continue the Netflix viewing approach, I won’t be watching season 4 until 2015, so hopefully the final book in the series will be out. Easier to pick them back up if I know I can read to the end. Don’t want another Wheel of Time and have the author die before it’s finished.  Though, arguably that improved the ending to that series…

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4 Responses to Game of Thrones

  1. Tamarynn says:

    I bought Game of Thrones shortly after it came out a a discounted price. Personally, the hype far outweighed the enjoyment for me. It seemed like a very generic fantasy story, nothing really unique, but heavily borrowed from other series. I just couldn’t help thinking of the many other series that would have made a better show. I didn’t hate it, but I really don’t see the appeal.

  2. Sienn'lyn says:

    You’re not behind the entire world, you’re at least one episode ahead of me. I haven’t read the books personally, but what I can say is that what I like about the show is that it’s dark, dirty and gritty. I enjoy the fact that just about anyone can be killed off and we don’t really know that the “good guys” will triumph.

    The only part of the show I tend to roll my eyes at is the unmotivated nudity. Don’t get me wrong, I have no issues with nudity in film or tv-series, but when it’s often so blatantly unmotivated it’s just laughable. There is one scene in particular with Littlefinger (or whatever he’s called) is discussing something while two protitutes are going at it in the background that has me laughing every time. The good thing is that it seems to get less and less frequent and unmotivated as the series progress, which I would account to what I call the “HBO-effect” (i.e., lots of unmotivated nudity and gore in the first few episodes to catch people’s attention).

    I have to agree though, Peter Dinklage really steals the show, it’s worth watching the series just for his scenes. His character is the only one I’d be upset about if it got killed off.