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(Grantland)   Game of Thrones is better enjoyed as a great television series rather than a pretty average series of books   (grantland.com) divider line 236
    More: Obvious, Game of Thrones, fantasy literature, Michael Chabon, Stephen McPherson, fictional world, De La Soul, Jonathan Lethem, Tyrion  
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3801 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 12 Jun 2013 at 3:05 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-12 02:05:01 PM
Disagree 100%
 
2013-06-12 02:23:40 PM
I just started the books. So far the show is better.

Martin has a verrrryyyyy meaaaaandering and looooong winddddddddded way of writing. I had no problem with that style when reading Moby Dick, but Martin's no Herman Melville.
 
2013-06-12 02:24:06 PM

GrahamManning: Disagree 100%


I agree with GM .

Although, all the nudity is nice.
 
2013-06-12 02:42:44 PM
I haven't read all of the books, but I enjoy both the show and the books in different ways.  The show is great and delivers more of an emotional impact, but the books are great because the story is deeper, more detailed, and takes more time with sub plots.

The areas where the show has diverged from the books works in some ways, but I wish it had included more material from the books in others (the part where Catelyn and Tyrion were ascending the Eyrie tower in the first book for instance).

As it is I can read the book after the season that covers it in the show is finished - I get the maximum impact from the TV production, and then I can go back and fill in the blanks from the book.
 
2013-06-12 02:49:04 PM
I started the first book after the initial episode of the first season, but quit after about 50-60 pages because I didn't want to watch the show and be constantly comparing it to the book. Better to come to it brand new.
 
2013-06-12 02:50:55 PM
The Hobbit is a perfect example of this. Taken by itself, it's probably a decent movie, but I was horrified at the liberties Jackson took with the story.
 
2013-06-12 02:51:39 PM
I've never been able to read a book after having seeing the video version.
 
2013-06-12 02:56:16 PM

I_C_Weener: I've never been able to read a book after having seeing the video version.


I think doing it in that order works out better.  Jurassic Park is a great example - great book, great movie, but if you read the book first you're going to be disappointed about how much they left out in the movie, while if you watch the movie first you can appreciate it, and then appreciate the book afterwards because there is still new content.

I've also found doing it that was helps avoid the jarring feeling of whoever they cast in a certain role doesn't come close to your own mental image of the character which you develop if you read the book first.
 
2013-06-12 02:59:08 PM

TuteTibiImperes: I_C_Weener: I've never been able to read a book after having seeing the video version.

I think doing it in that order works out better.  Jurassic Park is a great example - great book, great movie, but if you read the book first you're going to be disappointed about how much they left out in the movie, while if you watch the movie first you can appreciate it, and then appreciate the book afterwards because there is still new content.

I've also found doing it that was helps avoid the jarring feeling of whoever they cast in a certain role doesn't come close to your own mental image of the character which you develop if you read the book first.


I prefer reading book then watching movie. Part of the joy of reading fiction is letting your mind run wild with the setting, look of the characters, etc. Now that I've already seen it, I already have in my head what each character, etc looks like. Not as enjoyable :-/
 
2013-06-12 03:07:25 PM
Disagree. I actually stopped watching the show. I don't think they did Tyrion justice in the second season.

I mean, overall it's beautiful and well-produced, but just... hurried. Like they're trying to cram as much of the book as possible into the show.
 
2013-06-12 03:10:30 PM
i369.photobucket.com
 
2013-06-12 03:11:16 PM
I'm waiting to buy the whole series as a Blu-Ray set. I figure about a year and a half after the finally it'll show up as an Amazon daily deal for about $80.

You bet I haven't seen a single episode. farking story arc dramas where you have to see all or none I'll opt for none, until I can have all.
 
2013-06-12 03:14:13 PM
It's the pages upon pages upon pages of food descriptions and Bran wolf dreams that really adds the je ne sais quoi to the story that the viewers are missing out on.
 
2013-06-12 03:16:17 PM

InmanRoshi: It's the pages upon pages upon pages of food descriptions and Bran wolf dreams that really adds the je ne sais quoi to the story that the viewers are missing out on.


Yes.


/In other news, The Godfather would have been a much better movie had it spent an hour on the Lucy Mancini vagina reconstruction sideplot.
 
2013-06-12 03:16:27 PM
They do a good job of explaining why I prefer the show to the books. I'm never particularly enamored by world-building. It's a tool to tell a story in my mind and not a goal on its own. The fact that they cut down the meandering description of history and myth and concentrated on moving the story forward is a real plus for me. This applies to the LoTR books/movies as well.
 
2013-06-12 03:17:50 PM

TuteTibiImperes: I think doing it in that order works out better.  Jurassic Park is a great example - great book, great movie, but if you read the book first you're going to be disappointed about how much they left out in the movie, while if you watch the movie first you can appreciate it, and then appreciate the book afterwards because there is still new content.

I've also found doing it that was helps avoid the jarring feeling of whoever they cast in a certain role doesn't come close to your own mental image of the character which you develop if you read the book first.


I understand what you're getting at, but I think a better way to go about it is to not judge a book and a movie against each other. Compare books to other books and movies to other movies.

Jurassic Park, the movie, is great because it stands on its own as a film, regardless of the book. It's expert filmmaking. The movie doesn't "leave anything out." It's its own separate story.
 
2013-06-12 03:18:27 PM

basemetal: [i369.photobucket.com image 276x276]


How did you get that to fit?
 
2013-06-12 03:18:50 PM
Totally false for books 2 & 3, could be true for 4 and 5.
 
2013-06-12 03:18:53 PM
Mixed opinions. Depends on which character arc in discussion. For example, Arya and Tyrion chapters are much better in the books. However, I like Daenerys' better in the show.
 
2013-06-12 03:21:37 PM

wildcardjack: I'm waiting to buy the whole series as a Blu-Ray set. I figure about a year and a half after the finally it'll show up as an Amazon daily deal for about $80.

You bet I haven't seen a single episode. farking story arc dramas where you have to see all or none I'll opt for none, until I can have all.


You might be waiting for a while.  There are five books already written, and supposedly two more coming. The first two seasons were handled as one season per book, but the later books are longer and denser, so this season was only half of the third book.  I don't know if they can keep doing 2 seasons per book, it would take the series out to 12 seasons total, which is a ton for a live action scripted drama, especially one as expensive as GoT, but no matter how they handle the later books, there is a lot of content left to translate to TV.
 
2013-06-12 03:22:14 PM

Clash City Farker: basemetal: [i369.photobucket.com image 276x276]

How did you get that to fit?


The gif or the sausage?
 
2013-06-12 03:23:12 PM
I enjoy the books quite a bit, I'd say they're better-than-average.  The world he's painted is undeniably breathtaking, and the longwinded nature of the books -- while not always necessary -- adds to the immersion.

I'd say that, like Tolkien or Roddenberry, he has great ideas, but the ideas are better than the execution.  That being said, I think his execution is better than Tolkien's or Roddenberry's.
 
2013-06-12 03:23:44 PM
I like the build up of who Ramsey Snow is and his relationship with Theon better in the books. In the show you don't really know Ramsey's full biographical past, how he came upon Theon and why he wants to transform him into Reek. On TV it comes off as just another SAW movie.
 
2013-06-12 03:26:22 PM
The TV show just makes the Starks seem too incredibly stupid, although they're pretty damn stupid in the books, too.
 
2013-06-12 03:30:42 PM

devilEther: Clash City Farker: basemetal: [i369.photobucket.com image 276x276]

How did you get that to fit?

The gif or the sausage?


I tried to post that gif the other day and it said the file was too big.
 
2013-06-12 03:30:53 PM
I've actually been enjoying learning about this story through the full variety of media (Movie, Book, blogs, forums, etc..) . I don't really feel like anyone can truly "spoil" the story, at least not for me. No one knows the ending (except maybe a certain few). While it may be possible to spoil some surprises that will occur along the way, or a scene or episode, the story itself isn't known enough to anyone yet.

Though, I'm coming in late compared to other book readers, I feel like I'm just catching up on the theories. Those actually seem to add to the intrigue for me. I am relishing every theory just as much as the 2 forms of the story itself.
 
2013-06-12 03:33:25 PM
The books are much richer. The TV show has to combine and streamline too many things.
 
2013-06-12 03:33:59 PM
The books were ahead of their time. It's as if they were built for the great TV cable era of right now. The slow burn of the fantasy elements is one of my favourite aspects of the series.
 
2013-06-12 03:39:55 PM
I enjoyed the books more initially because they have such a rich element of world building.  I especially like the way nobody explains things that are common knowledge for your benefit.  From the context of the way people discuss Summerhall for example, you can sort of get a feel for what happened there, but you really don't know the specifics, and nobody bothers to tell you because... they all get it.  Its clear that there IS a story there, and many characters have different viewpoints on whatever parable is being referred to, so there's a fully formed idea about the story and how every character would interpret it.  Nobody exposits though.  Nobody explains to you that elf swords glow around goblins, or trolls turn to stone in the sun, or whatever.

Darmok and Gilad at Tenagra.  That kind of thing.
 
2013-06-12 03:40:09 PM
The TV show has countless continuity errors and many characters (Sansa, Catelyn, Davos) are rendered pointless by giving others' POV (Robb, Stannis, Joffrey, Cersei). Also the budgetary limits make the battles lame and too many characters are combined into one.

Also it's fairly hard to follow which old guy with a beard they're talking about this week. Minor characters like Roose Bolton and Brynden Tully get no exposition so they can show more titties.

If you are really into titties, however, I can understand why you prefer the TV show.
 
2013-06-12 03:40:46 PM

TuteTibiImperes: You might be waiting for a while. There are five books already written, and supposedly two more coming. The first two seasons were handled as one season per book, but the later books are longer and denser, so this season was only half of the third book. I don't know if they can keep doing 2 seasons per book, it would take the series out to 12 seasons total, which is a ton for a live action scripted drama, especially one as expensive as GoT, but no matter how they handle the later books, there is a lot of content left to translate to TV.


The producers have said pretty specifically that they don't want to stretch this out to 10+ seasons.  I honestly think it's going to end up at 8.  Season four will deal with the rest of the third book while sprinkling in bits from the fourth and fifth books so that it will be less "one book in two seasons" and more "three books in four seasons."
 
2013-06-12 03:41:41 PM

InmanRoshi: It's the pages upon pages upon pages of food descriptions and Bran wolf dreams that really adds the je ne sais quoi to the story that the viewers are missing out on.


No, that's the Hunger Games
 
2013-06-12 03:41:42 PM
I haven't seen the show, but how can it not be better than the books? They're poorly paced and generally not very interesting. The writing is maybe a notch or two above Dan Brown, but not worth the trouble of actually getting through them. If Tolkein was king at writing slow, meandering stories, Martin is a god.
 
2013-06-12 03:42:21 PM
The show is about 1000% better than slogging through that horribly-written, brutally-paced morass of so-called writing.

Martin is a master plotsman, and understands which characters to put together in a room to create drama. But his writing style and lack of brevity undoes all of that. Skip the books, watch the show. If you're desperate to know more, go back and skip through to the parts you want.

Life is short, too short to endure that nonsense.
 
2013-06-12 03:46:45 PM
TV show runners said seven seasons.  Due to the drastic turn this last season I won't be reading any more of the books.  Just not worth my time.  I MAY return to the TV show next year but we'll see.

Same thing with Walking Dead. You kill Darryl and I'm out.
 
2013-06-12 03:48:55 PM

JerseyTim: TuteTibiImperes: I think doing it in that order works out better.  Jurassic Park is a great example - great book, great movie, but if you read the book first you're going to be disappointed about how much they left out in the movie, while if you watch the movie first you can appreciate it, and then appreciate the book afterwards because there is still new content.

I've also found doing it that was helps avoid the jarring feeling of whoever they cast in a certain role doesn't come close to your own mental image of the character which you develop if you read the book first.

I understand what you're getting at, but I think a better way to go about it is to not judge a book and a movie against each other. Compare books to other books and movies to other movies.

Jurassic Park, the movie, is great because it stands on its own as a film, regardless of the book. It's expert filmmaking. The movie doesn't "leave anything out." It's its own separate story.


I think this is the way to go and is also the point the two authors were dancing around.  The books are great (I assume-haven't read) because of their depth and world-building.  But in television, you don't have the luxury of the time to do extended world-building but, at the same time, you can shortcut a lot of that stuff as well.

Like the book-defender says, if you're judging purely by the delivery of the narrative, the show wins hands down.  But if you want a greater experience and want to more fully immerse yourself in this world, the books are the way to go.

Personally, I'm avoiding the books until the show is done because I want to see the show unfold on its own.  Later, I'll probably go read them in order to get a deeper understanding of the world.
 
2013-06-12 03:49:33 PM
there are books?

I thought GoT was based on the series of popular fark threads.
 
2013-06-12 03:50:33 PM
I've just started reading the books (got spoiled on some minor stuff that allowed me to piece together some major stuff, so I figured I should just read em myself).  So far they've made an interesting complement to the show, fleshing out some of the smaller threads and adding some interesting details here and there.  But the quality of the writing does seem a bit lower, and the narrative even more dawdling and unfocused.  Not sure how I'll feel once I get beyond the show stuff into new territory.

/have been pleasantly surprised with the bonus Blackfish
//and that a lot of the best show dialogue is straight from the books
///foodchat gets a little tiresome though
 
2013-06-12 03:52:35 PM
It's almost like the pacing between different mediums is different and people have different preferences with how they enjoy how a story is told.

Also, I'm glad McPherson is part of Oprah's Book of the Month club, but having read the same authors I disagree with his statement the GRRM is objectively worse than the modern authors he listed.
 
2013-06-12 03:55:57 PM
Game of Thrones is better enjoyed as a great television series rather than a pretty average series of books ... because, tits.
 
2013-06-12 03:55:59 PM
The TV show is called Game of Thrones while book one is called A Game of Thrones. As such the  TV viewer expects that their favorite character will win the Game of Thrones in the end and are disappointed. But, by now the game is already over and the real story, A Song of Ice and Fire continues...
 
2013-06-12 03:56:35 PM
The show does a much better job of telling a cohesive story.
 
2013-06-12 03:57:21 PM

mcmnky: there are books?

I thought GoT was based on the series of popular fark threads.


That's why none of the girls have sharp knees.
 
2013-06-12 03:58:10 PM

rugman11: Like the book-defender says, if you're judging purely by the delivery of the narrative, the show wins hands down.  But if you want a greater experience and want to more fully immerse yourself in this world, the books are the way to go.

Personally, I'm avoiding the books until the show is done because I want to see the show unfold on its own.  Later, I'll probably go read them in order to get a deeper understanding of the world.


Did you just say that the TV series is better but you haven't read the books?

Anyhow, so much is left out in the TV series. People who haven't read the books are always asking why something happened...

I know, reading is hard and you probably have ADD anyhow.
 
2013-06-12 04:00:15 PM

rugman11: Personally, I'm avoiding the books until the show is done because I want to see the show unfold on its own.  Later, I'll probably go read them in order to get a deeper understanding of the world


I have a feeling that A Song of Tits and Wine will end up being like Wheel of Time.  It's good, once you accept that there are entire plot-lines that have no reason for existing for multiple books and are totally skippable.

Namely (For WOT, not ASOTAW):
If they are a woman,
in books 5-12,
Who showed up in the first 4 books,
Who is not a Forsaken,
Who is not in the same physical location as Rand or Mat (and even if they are, use your judgement)
Or they are Perrin in Books 7-12 (And that only because he doesn't show up much in Book 5 and does plot-important things in Book 6),
skip them.

/Seriously, that edit alone takes the middle 6 books (5-10) from ~4600 pages of dogshiat to ~2000 pages of Rand going slowly nuts while being one of the two major plot drivers, Mat being AWESOME and HILARIOUS, the other major plot driver of the [spoilered], plus random Forsaken meddling screwing with EVERYONE.
 
2013-06-12 04:03:03 PM
I read all the books after the second season ended, and I don't regret it. Maybe things will change, but Samwell Tarly is a far better character in the books than the actor on the television show, that's for sure.

One problem with reading them after the show's been completed is that it's tough not to visual the actors when reading the books. It works for someone like Tyrion (or Ygritte, for that matter) but I like the fact that Daario in the books (an otherwise horrible part of the story as written) is really ridiculous looking.

Yezzan zo Qaggaz will have to be played by Chris Christie, I suppose.

/they might be long books, but they are in no way difficult to read, BTW.
 
2013-06-12 04:05:18 PM
The show is able to take what is explained in 4-5 chapters and condense it down into 5 minutes of screen time. (see: Sam and Gilly happening upon Bran's crew in the Nightfort)

The world building that takes place in the novels is better and more succinctly expressed in visual medium, if you know what you are looking at. I for one would rather gaze upon Yunkai in the series than to read 3 chapters about the city itself.

That said, it makes perfect sense for Season 4 to wrap up the third book with some sprinkling in of books 4 & 5 then have season 5 combine 4 & 5. (if you've read the books, you understand why and how the show can condense both books into one season)

That leaves Seasons 6 & 7 (as referenced above, the show runners plan on 7 seasons) to be one book per season.

The only time I have ever deliberately waited to read the books until after I saw the movies was Potter. I was glad that I did, but I was also able to scream through the GRRM books before season 1 had ended.

/Currently re-trudging through AFFC
 
2013-06-12 04:07:07 PM

sithon: Although, all the female nudity is nice annoying.


FTFA.

/what does HBO have against naked men?
 
2013-06-12 04:07:26 PM

Spike Lee's Favorite Farker: I like the build up of who Ramsey Snow is and his relationship with Theon better in the books. In the show you don't really know Ramsey's full biographical past, how he came upon Theon and why he wants to transform him into Reek. On TV it comes off as just another SAW movie.


This is a big part of why I'm skipping past the torture porn parts.  There's no reason for it beyond sadism and I don't enjoy watching sadism.
 
2013-06-12 04:07:41 PM
As someone who has not seen the shows, I have to assume this is true.  The books farking sucked.
 
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