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Thread: Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire)

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    Member Mxx's Avatar
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    Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire)

    Who here follows the show? Have you also been reading the books? What aspects of the show or books keep you engaged in the story?

    I only started watching after the first two seasons had already aired. Got sucked in during a particularly intense procrastination effort, and then was intrigued enough to listen to the audiobooks to and from work. (I'm almost finished with A Dance with Dragons).

    I am unimpressed with the books - granted the author has created characters, a story and a universe that I have enjoyed, but the books annoy me more than anything. What has kept me listening to them is the desire to know background details - the historical, sociological and anthropological background.

    I enjoyed the show more when I could watch episode after episode, at my own obsessive pace.

    I am most engaged with the characters and scenes of Tywin and Tyrion.

    And I fell hook, line and sinker in love with the direwolves.

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    asl? ;] JollyBard's Avatar
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    I vaguely remember reading the first couple books some years ago, but something about them annoyed me after a while. I think the whole people killing eachother for a throne didn't really appeal to me. How about democracy? Ha!

    Anyway, it was a long time ago, and maybe I'd like the show. I think I watched the first couple episodes too, but I might have been too young to really appreciate it.

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    was here.. ~h4ct6al~'s Avatar
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    As a favour to a friend, I read all the books and watched all the shows.

    I'm more Metroid than Castlevania but it gave us something to talk about.
    Last edited by ~h4ct6al~; 12-23-2013 at 03:48 AM.

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    igKnight Hephaestus's Avatar
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    The only book that really annoyed me was the fourth one. From now on, before reading any of the remaining books, I'll scan the pages to make sure there are chapters marked "Tyrion".

    I think the point of the books was to provoke. In the first book in particular, he attacked standard fantasy fare by destroying the most noble and honorable family in the world (or at least that we get to see), and all as consequence of their own honour. He took a pretty enormous risk in hucking Bran out the window too.(Not quite as great a risk as that taken in the Thomas Covenant series mind you--another set of books that savages the underlying tropes of fantasy fiction.) The problem wasn't the violence or even the target, but that it was needless. It served as a useful plot hook, but in the long run, the bigger trope purpose was still served elsewhere--to establish that this is a world where many in power have no compunction about killing children, and set them in contrast to Ned Stark, whose greatest downfall comes primarily from his habit of trying to keep children from being killed.

    Still, I think the strongest story is that of Tyrion and Tywin, and truthfully, that story finished in the third book. I'm just reading the further adventures of Tyrion Lannister because I'm greedy.

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    Member _eric_'s Avatar
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    I love the books and plan on reading through them again sometime this year. I have the first two seasons of the show on blu-ray, and the third should get here in the mail on Saturday! I will, of course, have to watch the first two seasons again beforehand, though. I think it's an excellent adaptation of the books and most of the changes, from what I've noticed, are pretty minor and don't affect the overall story (except for teh gayness, since that is making the jump from a possibility that is only hinted at in the books, to being directly concrete and explicit in the tv series). For example, in the books, Castle Black's lift was only on a rope and able to swing freely in the wind, while in the tv series it was mounted on rails along the wall and much more secure, like a manual elevator. The Eyrie in the books is built right into the side of a mountain, but in the tv series it's like in an isolated outcropping of rock (see here). Daenerys' experience in the House of the Undying is also greatly shortened in the tv series and doesn't have nearly the impact it does in the books, though it's sufficient enough to get that part of the story across. One final little change I'll mention that I easily noticed was that:
    Spoiler: minor spoiler
    Ned's 'trial' and beheading took place in the throne room in the books and Arya watched while hiding under the Iron Throne, while in the tv series it took place outside and she was watching from the middle of the crowd.

  6. #6
    Suburban Legend C.J.Woolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by _eric_ View Post
    One final little change I'll mention that I easily noticed was that:
    Spoiler: minor spoiler
    Ned's 'trial' and beheading took place in the throne room in the books and Arya watched while hiding under the Iron Throne, while in the tv series it took place outside and she was watching from the middle of the crowd.
    Spoiler: spoiler
    I think it was more in Joffrey's character to have Ned Stark executed in public. If you want to make an example of someone, you want everyone to know it, right?
    "Allow me to introduce myself. My name is reality. Your cries do not move me." -- Sistamatic

  7. #7
    Member _eric_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C.J.Woolf View Post
    Spoiler: spoiler
    I think it was more in Joffrey's character to have Ned Stark executed in public. If you want to make an example of someone, you want everyone to know it, right?
    Spoiler: spoiler
    The execution in the book was still public because there were a lot of people stuffed into the throne room watching the whole thing.

  8. #8
    igKnight Hephaestus's Avatar
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    I've no issue with the shortening of the trip in the House of the Undying. I tend to skim anything with a dreamlike quality in books anyway. It's rarely worth reading, it's just a cheap theatric trick to invoke dramatic "what is going to happen next" tension. There are far more elegant and reader satisfying ways to accomplish that goal. An argument could be made that all good writing is about achieving that goal, and a dreamy sequence is the equivalent of using a mirror or mirrored surface as an excuse to tell what the viewpoint character looks like.
    --Mention of these things is so taboo, they aren't even allowed a name for the prohibition. It is just not done.

  9. #9
    Member Pan's Avatar
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    I never had a strong urge to dive into these. I did open up the first book once and quickly decided that his writing style was one that I would find grating after a thousand pages. Quite aside from that, I've formed the impression that it's basically the War of the Roses re-hashed by a fantasy writer - and I already read Shakespeare's version. Is there more to it than that?

  10. #10
    igKnight Hephaestus's Avatar
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    It's an active deconstruction of fantasy tropes. The first book is a blow by blow 'subversion by reality' of a traditionally honorable family that would normally get the hero's seat. In their own way, they get the hero's seat, it's just that the hero's seat is made of concentric circles and everyone else at the party brought new crossbows and bolts and are just itching for an excuse to try them out.
    --Mention of these things is so taboo, they aren't even allowed a name for the prohibition. It is just not done.

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