So all of my grand plans of reading one themed book per month (as outlined in this blog post) were shot to Hades when I picked up George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (better known as A Game of Thrones). I went back and forth of whether or not I wanted to actually read the book series ahead of the television series. I had so enjoyed various plot twists and turns as a television viewer thus far and wanted my experience to remain Unsullied (see what I did there?) throughout Game of Thrones’ Season 4 (currently airing on HBO).
The best laid plans of mice and men. Or women.
At any rate, I completed Book 3 A Storm of Swords (a-not-so-ponderous tome of 1128 pages) last weekend and I am still reeling from the shock of events that have yet to transpire in Season 4 of Game of Thrones. I am extremely conscious of not spoiling things for my fellow Game of Thrones viewers who have not read any books, so I will probably not spoil anything book-related on this blog, even with a hefty SPOILER ALERT warning. I have deeply enjoyed the story spoiler-free (with one exception–and I did not appreciate being spoiled on this particular plot point) so I carry the torch and my quest remains to preserve my spoiler-free haven from henceforth.
(Side note: Part of my Game of Thrones experience has been enhanced by a weekly showing of Game of Thrones at The Geek Easy, a local nerd bar hidden behind A Comic Shop in Orlando, FL). It’s basically a sports bar for nerds. Instead of drinking pints and watching Sunday night football, we drink pints and watch Sunday night Game of Thrones. Good times).
Anyway, here are some observations/thoughts I have made regarding my altered experience of transitioning from being a strict TV show watcher, to someone that is simultaneously catching up reading the books:
- After having read three of the books, I have appreciated where the show has streamlined certain storylines and characters. I feel there is very little waste, which I appreciate about the show.
- Some characters I adore in the books have had to slowly grow on me. Case and point: Jon Snow. I always liked Jon Snow but he is so much more compelling (and cooler!) in the books. I never had a problem with Kit Harington but after reading the books, I can understand why some people have been less enthralled with his portrayal of Jon Snow. That said, I really think his storyline and character development has picked up this season and I am decidely on Team Jon Snow now.
- The books really are worth reading and I amazed at how much depth, history and mythology there is to the universe that George R. R. Martin has created. The show is more than the tip of the iceberg but it’s definitely not the whole iceberg, if that makes sense.
- I really hope the producers of the show do a prequel of sorts to focus on the backstory of characters of the show that are only referred to in retrospect, but never shown (i.e. Brandon Stark, Rhaegar Targaryen, Lyanna Stark, Aerys Targaryen, even Jon Arryn (we only see his dead body in the pilot) etc.). I am glad they refrained from using flashbacks for these characters in the show, which I feel might have been ill-done. But I really hope at some point they bring those characters and storylines to life on-screen.
Maybe a big-budget Game of Thrones movie?
A girl can dream, right?