6 Ways Game of Thrones Surpasses Its Source Material

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I disagree wholeheartedly with every point, and now think you have absolutely no imagination and possibly have never read a book before.
have a nice day

Yeah I dunno....

I've never been one to complain about the show. ASoIF became my favorite series well before it came up for an HBO adaption I had never been more hyped. Even if it has some shortcomings, seeing the series I've come to know & love get it's proper respect on screen I can't help but love every minute of it. But it still doesn't change the fact that the books are vastly superior, and GRRM is a far better writer than D&D.

Actually I think I got it pinned down here, the places where the 'show' surpasses the 'books' is entirely due to the performance of some of the actors in bringing the characters to life. Doesn't apply to every character but an obvious one is Charles Dance is greater than Tywin Lannister. The performers really deserve a bow here.

Holy shit that was bad, some of the points are obvious such as locations and fights being better once you see them. But the "less subtle" was just terrible, rather than have a character gay and that's it going all out of it with the regular "people hate gays" is not an improvement?!

What the fuck did I just read? Seriously? Does the author of this "masterpiece" even understand that half he's telling is obvious due to nature of medium and other half is even more subjective then picking a favourite colour?!

I can agree with the point about fights, sometimes at least, and it's not solely down to medium-inherent differences.

Points 4 through 6, though, I vehemently disagree with. Particularly the last, about elevating minor characters; the book gives a much greater focus to a wider range of characters, minors included, so I'm unsure how that conclusion was reached.

Actually, the largest factor provoking Tyrion to shoot his father was Jamie's revelation that his former wife wasn't a paid prostitute at all, had in fact married him for love, and that his father had engineered to have him divorce her and participate in her gang-rape.

Which the show's writers, in their incredibly finite wisdom, decided to leave out, deciding that five minutes of Tyrion and Jamie talking about beetle-smashing was a better use of their time.

It's an entertaining enough show. But the longer it goes on, and the farther it strays from the books, the less faith I have that the writers have the damndest idea what the hell they're doing. And the above is only one example of many.

Gotta get aboard the hate train for this article. I disagree with pretty much every aspect, even the battles. Whilst they were mostly well choreographed in the show, the Battle of the Blackwater and the Battle of Castle Black were incredibly underwhelming in the show, the scale of each just felt off. The subtlety and the more human characters were the best parts of the books, particularly because it made them generally more relatable and the undertones in the stories much more engaging. Reading back over certain parts when stories have come full circle made me appreciate the subtle nods and bits of dialogue that were there to find, they give those little lightbulb moments when you backtrack and suddenly you're slapping yourself wondering why you never saw it coming...

Callate:
Actually, the largest factor provoking Tyrion to shoot his father was Jamie's revelation that his former wife wasn't a paid prostitute at all, had in fact married him for love, and that his father had engineered to have him divorce her and participate in her gang-rape.

Which the show's writers, in their incredibly finite wisdom, decided to leave out, deciding that five minutes of Tyrion and Jamie talking about beetle-smashing was a better use of their time.

As someone who watched the show first and only recently read the books I have a similar observation to make..

One thing that bothered me in the show was how quickly Tyrion became enfatuated with Daenarys and pledged himself to her service...Wtf Tyrion? Yes you hate Cersei and Tywin, but you also happen to like a lot of people in the 7 kingdoms, including your own brother Jaime..Wtf are you so eager to bring fire and destruction to the 7 kingdoms?

This subsequently made perfect sense in the books.. Tyrion hates EVERYONE and just wants to see the world bleed and burn. He even tells Jaime that it was indeed him who killed joffrey and says all he can do to hurt his brother as much as he can, even promising the next time they meet they will come to blows and its fortunate that he lost his sword hand for now it will be a fair fight between the crippled and the dwarf.

So in the books it makes perfect sense for a vengeful spiteful Tyrion to want to help the dragon queen.

But by making Tyrion softer in the show and much kinder, it just makes for a weird disconnect that strongly made me feel something was wrong even before reading the books and finding out about this rather important character trait change.

Callate:
Actually, the largest factor provoking Tyrion to shoot his father was Jamie's revelation that his former wife wasn't a paid prostitute at all, had in fact married him for love, and that his father had engineered to have him divorce her and participate in her gang-rape.

Which the show's writers, in their incredibly finite wisdom, decided to leave out, deciding that five minutes of Tyrion and Jamie talking about beetle-smashing was a better use of their time.

That bothered me greatly, because they introduced the Tysha storyline very early than promptly dropped it, to the extent that I don't know if it was even mentioned after the first season. I know a lot of show fans who don't even remember it beyond, "Oh yeah, Tywin was mean to Tyrion's girlfriend or something." It really hollowed out their relationship, and the writers didn't do a great job filling it in.

OT: I'm not going to join the 'hate train', but I do disagree with the author. The pacing is one of the show's most notable flaws to me, as a book reader. Instead of a slow shift in a character's opinions over time, they tend to lurch from one position to another as the events of the plot outpace the screentime given to the character. Stannis is a prime example, as you never really got proper development of him being corrupted by Melisandre, certainly not to the extent that

From the show's position, Stannis was still fighting to uphold his rigid virtues, until suddenly he wasn't.

TravelerSF:
Loras' line about Renly's passing, ""When the sun has set, no candle can replace it," was probably the most solid confirmation of their relationship that the book offered, which could've easily been interpreted as a knight's loyalty towards his former king.

I strongly disagree with the idea that the books were subtle in their presentation of Loras and Renly's relationship. Olenna didn't need to say that Loras was a 'sword swallower' for people to know that he and Renly was gay, the books were filled with people saying things like Margaery was like to die a maid in Renly's bed, that the servants knew to be blind and mute... one of Ser Gregor's men even calls Loras a bugger!

Whether or not the pair were seen in bed is not at all critical to understanding the relationship between the two. They also managed to discard the depth of Loras' feelings for Renly. In the books, he's beside himself with emotion, killing two of Renly's Kingsguard for their failure to save the king before refusing to serve Stannis (who he sees as partially responsible) and devoting himself to a life of chastity, maturing somewhat in his time spent as the older brother surrogate for Tommen before his headstrong nature again leads him to disaster.

In the show, he's sad for a bit, then has sex with a prostitute. He started as a well-rounded character, but they dropped the ball between seasons 2 and 3 and made him 'Margaery's gay brother,' complete with that awkward scene where he's more interested in Sansa's dress than her, because gay guys and fashion amirite?[1] Instead they made him the poster-boy target for the Faith Militant, because the complex populist plot from the books about the political and military responsibilities of the church and king are harder to write than 'a bunch of conservative priests are raiding brothels and arresting gay dudes, they must be the bad guys!'

[1] He does have an interest in looking good, like the other 'knights of summer', but there are good ways and bad ways to introduce that character aspect.

TravelerSF:
6 Ways Game of Thrones Surpasses Its Source Material

Movies or TV shows based on books tend to disappoint, but here's how Game of Thrones uses its format to do just that.

Read Full Article

Fixed that for you...

I think that the show sacrificed a lot of development in order to speed things along. In particular, a lot of the changes to Daenarys' arc during the Red Wastes and Qarth I think were unnecessary and made the characterization of her motivations and resolve from those events much less apparent in the show.

One thing I think was way better in the show than the books was the reason Jon Snow gave for wanting to join the wildlings, about Mormont ignoring Craster's tributing the walkers rather than just "I'm a bitter bastard lol"

I somewhat agree on some aspects, but i heavily disagree with others. I think most of the characters in the show are far worse because the show leaves out just so much that defines their character. Seriously how could they leave out Tysha out of Tyrions escape? It destroys his character.
Another one? Sansa. In the books she finally manages to use her skills and intelligence in order to gain control over her own life. In the show she just goes from one abusive a***ole husband to another abusive a***ole husband. On her own free will apparently, because the viewer doesn't have enough reason to think that sansa might be single dumbest being on earth before that.

I agree with point 5 as a rule. Littlefinger, Varys and Ramsey were in my opinion much more interesting characters in the TV show, although some of that may be personal preference (Littlefinger's character, in particular, was much more explicitly a gothic antihero which may have put some people off).

But weirdly I think Shae is actually one of the exceptions. She's a character who works fine in the books but makes no sense in the show. In the books, it's obvious to everyone except Tyrion that Shae is simply using him (heck, even Tyrion is aware of it, he just never processes it because he's lonely and desperate). Her betrayal may not be a shock, but it makes sense and fits with everything we know about her character.

It feeds into a couple of major issue I have with the show more broadly. The first is the broadly positive portrayal of the utterly horrific world of medieval prostitution (there's one particular line Shae delivers in the books which is actually quite chilling when you think about it, when she seems confused by the fact that Lollys Stokeworth is reacting so badly to being gang-raped, "all they did was fuck her").

The second is that the show's creators seems to be convinced Tyrion is a good guy when actually, Tyrion in the books is a pretty spiteful, unpleasant and ultimately unlovable human being who has people murdered without a hint of remorse and takes out his personal insecurity on anyone weaker than him. Plus, he's always described as incredibly ugly (which Peter Dinklage is certainly not). There is no reason for Shae to feel anything for him, and thus her overblown sexuality reads incredibly false. In the TV show, it's always ambiguous how much of what's going on is meant to be deception which makes the whole thing confusing and the betrayal arbitrary.

But the worst thing, I think, is what this does to the message. Shae in the books is the product of a profession and an environment in which women are forced to sell themselves to men, and to sell an illusion of sexuality to men, in order to survive. When Tyrion murders Shae, there is nothing remotely justifiable or principled about it. It's simply a petty little revenge from a petty little man who made the incredibly obvious mistake of assuming that money and power could buy him genuine affection. In the TV show, the failure is entirely Shae's, because oh my gosh why would she betray Tyrion? He was in love with her and she betrayed him and fucked his dad because they had an argument! What a bitch!

Tragic, yes, but Tyrion and Shae doesn't really work as a tragic love story. There's a huge elephant in the room, which is that Tyrion is a rich and powerful nobleman, and Shae is a prostitute. The basis of their relationship is a massive imbalance of power, which is simply ignored in the TV show. I don't think that's an improvement, personally.

6 Ways Game of Thrones Surpasses Its Source Material

Movies or TV shows based on books tend to disappoint, but here's how Game of Thrones uses its format to its advantage.

Read Full Article

I know several people who say the latest book is badly paced and goes absolutely nowhere, to point of calling George a "f***ing idiot" and "a bloke who doesn't know how to finish a story". Edit: and "he will make another 2 books before anything of relevance happens"

On the other hand they all stopped watching the show after the bettle conversation as they "don't trust the show makers to tell the real story anymore"

I disagree on all points except the last one which has been really fantastic and makes the show really worth it even to people who know the books word for word however this has also arguably lead to less depth in some of the main cast like Jon Snow. It's really only the fourth book that has pacing issues with longer chapters with a less clear aim to them (as well as entire POV character storyline which were unneccessary). The fifth books is paced fine it just doesn't end properly.

The fights (especially the battles) in the show have all been slightly disappointing to me (except of course the battle at Hardhome which was fucking brilliant and was only alluded to in the book)because they leave out fun and clever stategic details (THE CHAIN!) for reasons of budget and spectacle. The battle at the wall was particularly disappointing, the Night's Watch made really terrible tactical decisions so that there could be justifications for the one on one swordfights between significant characters in a courtyard. They really missed an opportunity to show how great a leader Jon Snow can be and riot/ dragon attack in the fighting pits missed the chance to make Daenerys look badass (which is unusual for the show) taming/retaming her dragon because they wanted it to be a sweet "dragon comes to save mummy" moment which I liked less.

While the books were an interesting read, they were paced poorly, and filled with unnecessary fluff and side arcs that went nowhere, presumably in an attempt to pad out the book and nothing more. Given how long it takes for him to finish a book, and that he has to reference fan sites to keep track of what he has and hasn't done, I don't believe he will finish the series. His apathy is palpable.

It's my OPINION that Martin is, at best, a mediocre writer with poor characterization skills. The show writers are better in that they are better with characters. I will say that Martin has created an interesting world and gave the show writers a good jumping off point, one which most TV and screen writers would probably never conceive of on their own.

I also think it's hilarious that the show is stated to have better pacing as compared to the book because the pacing is completely abysmal still, in my opinion. I do think it has gotten better, however.

I think the choreography is ok. It is better, substantially, compared to a lot of other shows though. I tried watching The Bastard Executioner, but between the bad choreography and need to show accurate dental hygiene of the era, I find it far less enjoyable. But truthfully, the show more often than not doesn't bother with any choreography and opts to show us the end result of combat. That usually means we see blood and gore and little else. Sure, we have seen a couple of fun battles (especially from the last season), but there isn't much there most of the time.

I wouldn't call the show less subtle, I would say it outright ignores a whole lot that is in the book. Everyone loves to talk about the theories of Jon Snow's mother, but it's something that is utterly ignored in the show more than anything. The writers literally just choose to not write anything about it, or at least as far as I can tell. It came up in the first season, but after that it was completely dropped.

So far as elevating minor characters: that is not a strong point. They are just fodder. Martin writes a lot of fodder characters in his work, and the show has mimicked that pretty well to it's detriment. Though the characterization is better in the show, the reason why characters exist is essentially the same, they are there to say a few lines and die, typically in some off putting bloody manner.

I've given up on the show now that the dynamic duo of Beniof and Weiss have butchered one of the major characters of the books by turning them from a decent person into a reprehensible person.

This article triggers me. Hard. I know now what internet induced PTSD feels like. I can add it to my HBO induced PTSD (cancelling Rome and allowing GOT what it is now).

008Zulu:
..., I don't believe he will finish the series. His apathy is palpable.

Pls. Don't scare me.

The most frustrating thing about the Tysha/Tyrion/Shae/Jaime storyline in the show isn't the fact that the storyline of Tysha was cut, to me. The first rule of the different medium is "show, don't tell," and in the books, the story of Tysha is only ever reiterated verbally, which would have been hard for a tv show to use as motivation for so many character-defining actions. Plus it would have added a new character to a series that already has more than it can handle.

Nor is it the fact that the show is basically white-washing Tyrion to make him a more morally just character. It's a change for change's sake, but I kinda get it. Having one more character the audience can unconditionally root for is important when you're dealing with a world as dark as Westeros, and I can see why such a decision would be made on a "attract as broad an audience as possible" level.

No, the most frustrating thing about the whole ordeal is that they cut the Tysha backstory/Shae betrayal buildup, then didn't replace it with ANYTHING, and had the plot move forward as if they had included the book information. As a result, everything about what was supposed to be an epic payoff felt like it came outta nowhere. Shae went from lovingly devoted, even when no-one was watching, to treacherous and father-seducing based off of one slight, involving Tyrion wanting her to not die? I couldn't follow why any of the characters were doing any of the things they were doing, and in a character-driven epic, that's not good.

It bothers me because it could have been remedied SO easily. Even with whitewashed Tyrion, devoted Shae, and well-intentioned Jaime, they could have still set up a plot where all the characters wound up at the same finish line as the book, but still stayed true to their new guidelines. (Well, to be fair to Jaime, even with Tysha he hadn't lied out of spite, but out of fear of his dad, but still)

Tywin had threatened to kill Shae if he saw her again, Shae refused to leave when Tyrion asked her to, and snuck off the boat. Have it so Tywin finds her, tells Jaime she's connected to Joffery's assassination plot, and send him out to apprehend her, make it so that something happens when he confronts her, and she ends up dying. Then, once you get to the point where Jaime busts Tyrion out of jail, have Tyrion talk about Shae implicitly, have Jaime realize what he did and confess, then Tyrion get mad.

boom, boom, boom, Tyrion's mad at Jaime, has motivation to go out of his way to murder his dad, and Shae died without suddenly betraying her previously established character for little to no reason. I'm far from a creative guy, and even I could come up with a more smooth transition to where you wanted the characters to be than you did.

TravelerSF:
Conveying all that [the cold] through written word is difficult. Text can only deliver a single idea at a single point in time, so creating the feeling of that kind of omnipresent threat would mean constantly reminding the reader of it.

Let's just say that a masterful author can convey this in a written text as well...

Hello, author of the article here. After waking up to this and seeing that I've managed to create quite a strong reaction in people I feel I should say a few words.

This is strictly an opinnion piece and is in no way meant to imply that the show is objectively speaking better than the books. These are simply some personal observations that me and The Escapist thought would be interesting to share.

I've been trying to read through the post to try and figure out what apparently went so wrong with writing this, but so far the biggest thing I can point to is simply differences in opinnion and in experincing the show and the books. I still stand by what I wrote and fully acknowledge the mistakes the show made while adapting the books. I simply feel that the good outweights the bad.

I agree with 1 and 5 for the most part, and point 6 halfway. Honestly, I got tired of reading horrible people doing terrible things to other horrible people...especially when they all died afterwards, rendering the entire exercise pointless (especially when they didn't actually change anything). The Iron Islands did me in. Great book series, don't get me wrong, but I was done after that...though early parts with Stannis came close to killing me from boredom...

Conversely, the series is more more palatable. Also, the "original" content really isn't all that original, considering that they got the Cliff's Notes version from GRRM, from what I've read. So yes, perhaps it's done differently from how GRRM will do it, but it will happen, unless GRRM decides to change his mind (which might not be a bad idea, depending on how it's received and what epiphanies he has).

1. TV shows and books have different pacing? You don't say? Look, I understand that you personally might prefer the pacing of a TV show, but don't put that forward as an inherent advantage.

2. TV is a visual medium and can present visual aspects better? Really? Tell me more! Seriously, I love how you point out the obvious inherent differences between the two mediums. Also, even though the show does sport some really nice visuals, it also fucks up a fair bit (Dorne. Everything about Dorne.)

3. Yes, the fights are so much better, especially the ones they skip because of the lack of budget. To be perfectly honest, the show had ONE really good fight (Viper VS Mountain) and some OK ones, but that's about it, nothing special to write home about.

4. No, just no. The subtlety of the storytelling was one of the cool things about the books. It allowed minor plots to blossom in the background, it allowed for nuanced characterization, it encouraged the reader to think for himself and draw his own conclusions. The show just spoon feeds you everything and is poorer for it.

5. Yes, warmer characters. Like when Jaime rapes his sister next to his dead son's body. That (completely unnecessary) reinterpretation of the books really made viewers warm up to him, right? Or that 10 minute scene of Joffrey beating up prostitutes in Season 2 - that one was really crucial, wasn't it? The show changed some characters - some were made more sympathetic (Hound, Sansa) and some were demonized (Joffrey was a shit in the books, but in the show he is a total monster; Jaime was pretty much gutted in comparison to the books), and not all changes were for the better.

6. Some minor characters were given bigger roles, true, but a TON of characters were cut out to make room for them. While this does fit the TV show format better, the overall narrative is lessened by it. Also, many of the "bigger roles" didn't really help the character - Ramsay's torture sequences with Theon were needlessly drawn out, Talisa was a terribly generic and out of place character who only served to undermine Robb's storyline, Bronn did shine but the whole Dorne plotline was atrocious and felt like a cheap excuse to put more Bronn in.

The show is different than the books, nothing wrong with that. It tends to be better when it sticks to the books, making only the necessary alterations to fit the medium, and goes entirely to toilets when they start writing their own shitty fanfics in (Dorne [and no, I won't drop it, Dorne was awesome in the books and is a total joke in the show], Talisa, etc.). It had a chance to surpass the books in quality when it got past the first 3 books (which were excellent) and got into the last 2 (which were alright, but not nearly as good), but missed that chance by going off the rails a bit too much. It's still a good show and won't be competing with the books come next season, but this article fails to address this properly.

Seriously, for a moment there I thought I stumbled into Buzzfeed by accident...

7. Every once in a while, a new installment of the show actually comes out.

/thread

TravelerSF:
Hello, author of the article here. After waking up to this and seeing that I've managed to create quite a strong reaction in people I feel I should say a few words.

This is strictly an opinnion piece and is in no way meant to imply that the show is objectively speaking better than the books. These are simply some personal observations that me and The Escapist thought would be interesting to share.

I've been trying to read through the post to try and figure out what apparently went so wrong with writing this, but so far the biggest thing I can point to is simply differences in opinnion and in experincing the show and the books. I still stand by what I wrote and fully acknowledge the mistakes the show made while adapting the books. I simply feel that the good outweights the bad.

You somehow managed to either disregard the source material completely (have you even read through all of it?)
Or misunderstand vehemently.

It's not just a difference of opinion when you are misrepresenting facts and base your comparisons on that.

The article reads like a "show fanboy rant".

Aside from all that it makes me wonder if you've read the books before you saw the show or the other way around.

Edit:

Just read the comments and admit you may very well be wrong here.

I agree with making the characters more human and easier to relate to. My biggest hurdle with the books was...I forget which book, I think book 3? Maybe it was 4. It was the one where the focus of the book was mostly Cercie and Sansa, and

I remember almost having to put that book down forever, because of all the internal dialogue I was being forced to read from two of the most annoying and stupid/insane characters in the series. Seriously, hearing those two women's internal rationale for their actions, and how utterly and fucking stupid/insane it was, made me want to tear the book apart with my teeth.

With Cercei, it was seeing the inner workings of a manipulative sociopath, and how she justifies her actions as being the "right" actions was honestly terrifying to me.

And with Sansa, it was her dogged clinging to her fairytale idea of what nobility was and supposed to do, even in the face of glaring examples to the contrary, was mind numbingly frustrating. Seriously, so much of the plot in the books revolved around Sansa being a complete idiot, and going along with incredibly stupid plans, because why wouldn't she help him? He was a noble and good! Because the stories all say nobles are good! GAAAAH!!! *smashes face* Seriously, the Idiot Ball trope is one of my most hated tropes, and they welded that ball to Sansa's head for waaaay too long. Now, at first, sure, she was naive and clueless about the world, I get that, I understand that. But she kept her naivety for FAR too long to be reasonable for a person in her situation in the books.

In the show at least, since I don't have to see the fine detail of the inner workings of their brains, they do come across as more human, and better written. Also, they definitely seem to have drastically reduced Sansa's stupidity timeframe in the show. She's more just stuck in some horribly unfortunate situations and she doesn't have any viable ways out, not so much her stumbling into them by her own actions as often. It still happens yes, but nowhere near as badly as in the books.

Happyninja42:
snip

Funnily enough, I found Cersei's POV to be the best part of that book. She is manipulative, but I don't know if she meets the definition of sociopath; she just built her entire life around external factors like her children and her ability to wield influence as power, and when one or the other fails she panics and lashes out blindly to try and get it back. Her big problem is that she doesn't understand that she's flailing, and justifies it to herself as a masterful bit of strategy, because she has enough hubris to give a Greek pause.

And for Sansa, a lot of the problem is that she's still a child mentally (which is not exactly an Idiot Ball, though it looks like it), and she cannot rewrite everything she believes easily. It's easier for her to keep justifying actions in the framework of stories than it is to admit that the stories are wrong, and even when she does let that go she has no real foundation to build a new worldview. She has no real goal other than survival (and eventually escape) but she has no idea how to go about that, and she has no peers or guiding figures who can serve to show her how things work (observing the people of King's Landing just makes her not want to be like them, and keep some of her morals). I personally enjoyed her journey towards being an adult, for all that I wanted to shake her and tell her how the world works.

Thunderous Cacophony:

Happyninja42:
snip

Funnily enough, I found Cersei's POV to be the best part of that book. She is manipulative, but I don't know if she meets the definition of sociopath; she just built her entire life around external factors like her children and her ability to wield influence as power, and when one or the other fails she panics and lashes out blindly to try and get it back. Her big problem is that she doesn't understand that she's flailing, and justifies it to herself as a masterful bit of strategy, because she has enough hubris to give a Greek pause.

I totally agree with your assessment of her mental process, it doesn't make it any less terrifying and insane to me. I mean, if even half of her mental gymnastics is realistic to how people like her justify what they do, it's a terrifying look inside the human mind. She was a horrid person, and seeing that reinforced with every thought she expressed only made me dislike her more.

Thunderous Cacophony:
And for Sansa, a lot of the problem is that she's still a child mentally (which is not exactly an Idiot Ball, though it looks like it), and she cannot rewrite everything she believes easily. It's easier for her to keep justifying actions in the framework of stories than it is to admit that the stories are wrong, and even when she does let that go she has no real foundation to build a new worldview. She has no real goal other than survival (and eventually escape) but she has no idea how to go about that, and she has no peers or guiding figures who can serve to show her how things work (observing the people of King's Landing just makes her not want to be like them, and keep some of her morals). I personally enjoyed her journey towards being an adult, for all that I wanted to shake her and tell her how the world works.

I would agree that she is childish, if we didn't have Arya as a counterpoint to her. Sansa is older than Arya by at least a few years in the book I think? And while she also displayed traits of naivety and innocence at the start of the show, she grew up really quick. Hell, all of the young children of the Starks did this. Bran, Arya, I don't really count Rikken, because GRRM basically stuck him on a bus and forgot about him, and the show has as well. But all of the Stark children had their education in the harshness of life very early, just as badly as Sansa, and yet she's still acting like a child. And I just refuse to believe that anyone living in that world, and having experienced what they've experienced, would still be that naive at this point. At first, like season 1, maybe into season 2, sure. But season 5 and she's still nearly as clueless as she was at the start? Sorry, I don't buy it. I know at the end of season 5, they're showing her as starting to become more cunning and manipulative, I just don't buy that it would take that long for her to reach that state, unless she has some kind of mental disability or something. I mean seriously, the other Stark kids figured it out way quicker than her, and they're all younger than her. So far, she's basically just been a trophy that's been passed around from location to location, with practically zero agency of her own, and it just frustrates me. I'm delighted she's beginning to show some teeth of her own when it comes to The Game, but I think it should've happened a lot sooner, both in the books, and the show. That's why I say she was given the Idiot Ball, because I just don't buy any other logical explanation for why she's so clueless at this point other than "she's an idiot". Of course, I blame this on the writing of her in the books. But the show I think has done a better job of showing her not being so stupid and vapid, and I actually empathize with her in the show, whereas in the books, she was one of my most hated characters, because she just radiated so much stupid!!!

TravelerSF:
This is strictly an opinnion piece and is in no way meant to imply that the show is objectively speaking better than the books. These are simply some personal observations that me and The Escapist thought would be interesting to share.

It's kind of sad this needs to be said really. I don't think there's anything wrong with what you wrote, even the bits I disagree with.

People need to learn the difference between an opinion piece being "bad" and an opinion piece saying something they don't like.

Regardless, I enjoyed the article (hence why I felt moved to give my opinion). Thank you for writing it.

Happyninja42:
Snipsa Stark

Running down the list of Stark kids:
Robb: The oldest, but he still held onto his father's morals until they led him to death. He also had a lot of guidance from his father's vassals, and his mother.
Bran: Still carries the idea of a magical good ending to his story; even after he lost his legs, he held out hope that the Three-Eyed Raven would give them back to him, and instead bought into the idea that the special powers he has are worth the trade. He's still holding onto his fantasy.
Arya: She probably matured the most out of the kids, but not in a healthy way. She has an obsession with getting revenge, and the idea that doing so will make her life better. Like Bran, she is being used (in her case by the agents of the many-faced god) and being given purpose by another.
Rickon: Is a pointless character, may be written entirely so that there's someone to come out of the woodwork and take the Stark throne at the end of the series.

Sansa didn't have anyone there to guide her and explain things to her, so she couldn't change her paradigm; She saw Santa was just a man breaking into the house, but no one explained what Christmas really means in spite of that. I'd argue that she is clueless in she operated, but you could see her make a number of attempts at playing the game over the series, starting with her trying to manipulate Joffrey and dealing with her servants. She lacked experience and guidance, but she did try her best. There were also people who tried to manipulate her, as others did to Bran and Arya, but she was smart enough (and they were foiled by other interests enough) that no one managed to totally sweep her away for some time. Even when she finally did agree to work with Littlefinger, it was with open eyes and a fuller understanding of her use.

TravelerSF:
Hello, author of the article here. After waking up to this and seeing that I've managed to create quite a strong reaction in people I feel I should say a few words.

This is strictly an opinnion piece and is in no way meant to imply that the show is objectively speaking better than the books. These are simply some personal observations that me and The Escapist thought would be interesting to share.

I've been trying to read through the post to try and figure out what apparently went so wrong with writing this, but so far the biggest thing I can point to is simply differences in opinnion and in experincing the show and the books. I still stand by what I wrote and fully acknowledge the mistakes the show made while adapting the books. I simply feel that the good outweights the bad.

Wait, are you really unaware of the longstanding feud between fans who prefer the show and fans who prefer the books? You poked a bear, my friend, that is all. It's like you wrote an article on some forum dedicated to the Twilight on why Edward is better/worse than Jacob or whatever the vampire/werewolf names were respectively. But poking the bear isn't bad. It's provocative and that's exactly what I want my sources of entertainment to do with their work.

You made a good article with solid points. The book and show both tell an amazing story. I do personally prefer the books but only because of the ownership over it that my imagination may possess. So I understand both positions of preference but I really can't claim your points are wrong. They are just opinions like you said and those are parts I really like about the show so I can't complain.

Good luck with these posts though. Power through them and keep up the good work!

Lightknight:
Wait, are you really unaware of the longstanding feud between fans who prefer the show and fans who prefer the books? You poked a bear, my friend, that is all. It's like you wrote an article on some forum dedicated to the Twilight on why Edward is better/worse than Jacob or whatever the vampire/werewolf names were respectively. But poking the bear isn't bad. It's provocative and that's exactly what I want my sources of entertainment to do with their work.

You made a good article with solid points. The book and show both tell an amazing story. I do personally prefer the books but only because of the ownership over it that my imagination may possess. So I understand both positions of preference but I really can't claim your points are wrong. They are just opinions like you said and those are parts I really like about the show so I can't complain.

Good luck with these posts though. Power through them and keep up the good work!

In hindsight I could've adressed the opposing view more prominently than I did. For some reason, even though I usually like to emphasize that what I'm writing is strightly just my own opinnions, I felt that since this piece was published by The Escapist I should try to distance myself from it and just let the text be its own entity.

I certainly didn't expect people to simply agree with me, I was well aware that most fans prefer the books over the show. And of course, that's completely fine. Still, I didn't quite expect the backslash to be as strong and harsh as this. Well, you live and learn I suppose.

There are a few unfortunate truths to the ASIF adaptation, in my opinion:

Firstly, when you squeeze written word through the tiny hole of film, you cannot get something that can (or should) be compared apples-to-apples with its source material. Period. The end. That's all she wrote. That said; typically articles only imply that the film version is better than the book -- this article actually asserts it in the title. I think this is the root of all the hate in these comments.

Secondly, for the most part, the film version was written in cooperation with GRRM himself. This tells me that he not only gave it his stamp of approval, but contributed to changes that were made. If I were him, I also would've jumped at the opportunity to change some things. (Outside of the tacky word of god, how often do authors get a chance to further clarify previously written content?)

Lastly, GRRM barely meets the Mendoza Line for prose. No, he's not EL James, but reading his books was a labor... of love. I would never do it again. How many times can a character "beetle their brow"? How many times can something be so shallowly described like "white as milk"? Come on. To be fair, this is less truth than it is my opinion. I'm sure there are people (posting here) that think he's some based god of writing. Even if he were a great writer, though, film is just more universally palatable. That's the truth. I mean, even GRRM has no issue with HBO's series surpassing his books: Link. Looks to me like he's conceding that HBO can present his story better than he can.

TravelerSF, my point: The film adaptation of anything will never be an improvement in the eyes of the book's fans. You make some great points, 5/6 I agree with fully, but the article itself is not formatted to deliver them properly.

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