GAME OF THRONES: BOOKS VS. SHOW

GAME OF THRONES: BOOKS VS. SHOW

Good morning Rebels, and welcome back to my life

I don’t make much of a secret about the fact that I’m not a big fan of Game of Thrones, and people often wonder why.

Is it because George R. R. Martin seems to take such perverse delight in killing off all of our favorite characters? Well, that’s part of it, but not for the reasons you might think.

Quick joke: Why doesn’t George R. R. Martin use Twitter?

Because he already killed all 140 characters

Anyway, Martin’s habit of shanking his characters in horrific ways only annoys me when I find the events leading up to it unconvincing.

Now, I’m going to try REALLY HARD not to spoil anything here, but the first MAJOR death in the series, the first one that makes you go WHOAH! You know the one.

That one was perfect. I was reading that book and I was like, “HOLY CRAP! YOU CAN’T DO THAT!”

Flash forward to Book Three and to the next REALLY REALLY BIG death. Actually multiple deaths, like a lot of them. Yeah, you know the one, the one that had like a million YouTube reaction videos and BLEW UP Twitter. Not blew up ON Twitter, it BLEW UP Twitter

Well, in the books, I really really hated that scene, because I didn’t think that the character motivations leading up to it were very well explained.

Again, without spoilers, one of the characters was like, “I’m going to go over into Eviltown where King Slimy McBadGuy lives,”

And I’m reading it going, “King Slimy McBadGuy’s going to kill you!”

And everyone else is like, “Well, King Slimy McBadGuy isn’t the best sort, but we’ve got no other option tactically, and besides, per the law, King Slimy McBadGuy can’t hurt us.”

And King Slimy McBadGuy hurt them. He hurt them all. And he hurt me, too.

So that really ticked me off in the books, but in the show, they handled it much better.

There wasn’t all that much animosity from Slimy McBadGuy, and they didn’t base their WHOLE PLAN on some obscure law that Slimy McBadGuy had to follow. I mean, if he followed laws, he wouldn’t be called Slimy McBadGuy!

But there’s a much, much broader reason I abandoned the Game of Thrones books, and why I’m planning on finishing the show only.

Through the books, we grow to love characters, and then they die. And they’re replaced with other characters we don’t like very much, and we continue to not love them.

When I started reading book four, I had to spend about three hundred pages with my least favorite character up to that point in the series. They were boring, they had no clear motivation, and they weren’t even entertaining (non-gender pronouns because spoilers). I just finally called it quits.

The show is following the story line, but when they replace dead main characters with sideline characters, they take extra care and effort to make sure we LOVE these new characters. That character in the book, who I hate, is one of my favorite characters in the show.

That’s because the show is run by television executives, as opposed to book editors. TV Execs know they’ve got to give their shorter-attention-span audience a good reason to want to watch everyone that’s on screen.

Even George R.R. Martin (one of the executive writers on the show) knows he can’t do things in the show that he can do in the book, because he’s got to retain that audience.

Authors and editors tend to play a much longer game. Maybe when he finishes the books, Martin will have given me a reason to like this character I don’t like very much. But since that’s probably not going to happen for, like, ten years, *shrug.*

I know that many people love the books. I think they’re good books. But until the entire book series is done, I’m going to get my Game of Thrones from the show.

Garrett Robinson

Over 100,000 readers have read and loved Garrett's books, like the fantasy hits Nightblade and Midrealm. He's also a film festival favorite with movies like Unsaid, and a tech guru who posts lots of helpful how-tos for writers and filmmakers over at garrettbrobinson.com.

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