WARNING: This post might contain spoilers for the books and TV series.
I thought I’d write a post about this series since the season finale for season 2 of Game of Thrones just aired this past weekend. I’ll talk about the books first and then go into my thoughts on the TV show.
I first started reading George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Ice series about a year and a half ago. I was staying with my aunt and uncle in Indiana when my uncle suggested I check out this series. He and my cousin had been having a discussion about what the Seven Kingdoms are (still have no idea….no can seem to agree on anything), and I became intrigued. My uncle lent me the first book, and I was through it pretty quickly. It was easy to get drawn into the story. There’s so much going on, and each chapter focuses on a different character so you get to see a bit of everyone.
Certain characters started to stand out to me, and those were the chapters I looked forward to the most. These characters (Arya, Jon, and Tyrion) have remained my favorite through the series although I feel as if a couple of them have become lost to me in the latest book which is really frustrating, but I’ll come back to that a little later.
The plots are engaging and being able to see the “bad” people having good qualities, and the “good” people having some pretty major faults makes it so that each person is incredibly dynamic. There are a few people that you want to shoot in the head that I don’t see having many if not any redeeming qualities.
I flew through the second and the third books, loving every moment. And then I got to the fourth book. I could barely get through the fourth book. I had to push myself to read it as George R.R. Martin thought it would be useful to not only introduce a million more plots but a million more characters. For those of you who don’t know, there are already too many characters to keep track of as there is. I found myself forgetting who people were, especially those whose names changed…. I didn’t much like that.
Then the fifth book came out, and I was excited because I would get to read about all the characters I loved which were completely left out of the fourth book. This is where I got a bit angry. My favorite characters started losing everything that made me like them in the first place. By the time I finished this book, I had barely anyone I was rooting for anymore. Some strange stuff went down in the fourth and fifth books, and I couldn’t trust anything I read anymore. People came back from the dead, and people suddenly had different names, and it was a bit of a mess. My uncle has decided that he can’t read them anymore because he’s just so disappointed, and I don’t blame him. I’m on the fence myself. We shall see when the next book comes out if I feel like it will be worth reading or if I will just be left disappointed.
Now that the TV series has just finished its second season on HBO, I thought I’d give my thoughts on how it compares to the books. I think the character portrayals are done very well. The cast is excellent. There were a few characters I pictured differently such as Sir Jorah whom I pictured as being older and less good-looking. I think the show does the books justice considering the large amount of information in the books. I do think they could have left out the sex and the gore and been fine. Some things they left out of the series which are fairly significant later on so I don’t know how they are going to adapt that. The books also give more information behind some things that I know people who haven’t read them are confused about. For example who burns Winterfell? In the books it’s clearly stated that Roose Bolton does it, but with the show the burning comes out of nowhere and with no culprit.
A lot of things were changed from the books that will make things that are supposed to happen later on much more difficult. That’s a bit frustrating to me. Especially the Jon/Halfhand killing scene. I thought that was poorly done. Very poorly.
Regardless of all this, I will continue to watch until I can’t anymore (either by choice or because George R.R. Martin hasn’t completed the next book).
What are your thoughts on the matter? Have you read the books? Seen the series? Both? I really want to know what you think!