Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Game of Thrones: From Book to TV

I don't even remember when I first read George R.R. Martins' 'A Song Of Ice And Fire' series - maybe 6 or 7 years ago. It's an intimidating book series. There are currently 5 books - A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, As Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows and A Dance of Dragons - and each book is over 1,000 pages give or take a few hundred, usually on the give side.

It wasn't the first medieval set world book I read and it wasn't the last, but its my favorite. There is so much thought put into all the characters and the world in general that it sometimes leaves me in awe. These aren't just characters you're reading about, its entire familys. At the back of every book there is an appendix where it goes through each major family and gives multiple generations of people as well as who there friends are, who there enimies are, who works for them, a short history of the house, and what their house motto is along with their house sigil. There are around 16 main houses and smaller houses. I can't even wrap my mind around how much thought was put into all of this.

The title of the first book basically explains the entire series - a game of thrones. We start off in a time of peace after a recent change in power. Of course there is the usual royalty shenanigans going on in the background, but then everything changes when the current king dies. The whole Kingdom is thrown into turmoil. The ex-kings spoiled son takes the throne and starts making kingly orders, his thought process ending as 'I want to do that so I will and no one can stop me'. The ex-kings brother claims it is his throne and that the ex-kings son isn't really his son. The ex-kings youngest brother claims it is his throne for no better reason that his older brother wouldn't make a good king. The north wants to split off with their own King of the North and the daughter of the King who was Overthrown is coming back with an army to claim her birthright.

The entire book is from multiple points of views. The chapters range from the Northern folk, to the daughter of the Overthrown King, and to the ex-kings multiple family members. There is no set good or bad side - which I love. Some sides may seem on the evil side, but then you see not everyone on that side is bad and you almost want to route for them to live just for the few good ones. Then the side that seems overly good has some bad blood of its own. It all feels so real and you almost want them all to win. 

I should also mention there are dragons. I couldn't find a good place to mention that, but it definitely needs mentioning. Everything in the series feels so realistic, just with the addition of dragons. I may or may not love dragons.

I wasn't sure how to feel when HBO announced they were going to turn George RR martins books into a TV series. On one hand I was so excited, who doesn't love to see their series in action? But on the other hand I was hesitant, there is so much stuff in the world George RR Martin created with so many characters I wasn't sure if it was even possible to turn it into a TV series.

I think they pulled it off rather nicely. Sure they couldn't include everything, but they did the best they could. I didn't feel like they left out anything major and they obviously put a lot of thought into how they went about doing it. I wasn't disappointed. What I was most impressed with were the casting choices. All the characters were almost exactly how I imagined them in my head and all of the actors performed so well.

Even if you don't feel like putting in the effort to read the book series, you should at least give the TV series a watch. It was a good introduction into the world George RR Martin created and might inspire you to give the books a chance. They are intimidating to say the least, but so satisfying. One of my favorite book series.

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