I am big into fantasy, Fangirls. I am also a big believer of adaptations of books being as close to perfect as possible. I love reading the book either before or after seeing the adaptation, and with Game of Thrones I am no different.
I started reading book one, titled A Game of Thrones in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, a while back (I’m almost finished with book two, if that helps tell how long a while back is). It was a little slow going in parts, and it took me several months to finish. I kept putting it down, picking up other things, picking it back up, and repeating the cycle. Until finally one day I told myself that I didn’t have a lot left in the book and I had better finish it.
And I’m glad I did. Book one, even though moment were slow, was incredible towards the end. I won’t say how it ends, I don’t give spoilers, but it definitely ends on a high note.
When I’m reading something, I have two aspects that, to me, are the most important; plot and characters. The plot focuses on several families of power in the land of Westeros, a land where kings and queens rule, knights fight, and dragons are a thing of legend. The Starks rule in Winterfell in the North, the Baratheons and the Lannisters command the entire Seven Kingdoms, and the remaining Targaryens are on the run for their lives. Within each of the families in the main Seven Kingdoms, there are many characters that the story is told from. Each chapter focuses on the point of view of one character. Each chapter switches characters, and sometimes a character’s chapter won’t return for at least 100 pages (which can be frustrating when a cliffhanger happens).
But each and every character is important, and this is what I love about the series. Not every character gets chapters from their perspective, yet readers easily learn to care for and feel for each character, whether it’s understanding why someone appears cold and careless, loving a character for having the strength to survive despite all odds, or absolutely hating every single thing about a character, George R.R. Martin has a lot of characters to focus on and a lot of story to tell, but no character suffers from the amount of detail that Martin has to keep track of.
The book is long, and each successive book in the series is even longer. But so far the series has been a great read. The stories are intricate, the characters are fantastic, and the detail is impressive. And the show does not disappoint either.
When I started the books, I knew I wanted to watch the show. I had heard so much about it, and I knew about some of the actors beforehand. I was very interested. So after I started the book, I picked up season one. I tried to watch it at the same time as reading the book, but that was a little too difficult. So I decided that I’d finish the book first and then watch the show. That worked out much better, and it’s the pattern I’m going to try to keep.
The show impresses me. Each season is only ten episodes, and they have a lot to fit into ten episodes. The show stays pretty close to the book. Each character looks how you would imagine when reading the book, and each actor really embraces their character, whether you as the audience love the character or hate them. The sets and locations are beautiful as well. It always amazes me when they find and create these places that truly look like they came straight out of the book. I’d started reading book two as I was watching the end of season one, and I did notice the show at the end did deviate just barely slightly into book two for one of the characters, but it didn’t hurt anything. If anything, it made that character’s ending in the first part less of cliffhanger than in the book – still a cliffhanger, but less of an intense one. But overall, the show sticks incredibly close to the book.
I’m so close to finishing book two and watching season two. I have heard later seasons deviate more from the books, and if they do I’ll be interested to see how.
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