6 Ways Game of Thrones Surpasses Its Source Material

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Bewbies:

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.

Fair enough. I probably should've thought about the title a bit more. Honestly I just liked how it sounded and left it at that. I thought it would be evident that despite everything I would still only be presenting my own opinnions, when in reality that should've also probably been included in the title as well.

To be fair OP I doubt there's actual hate, more strong disagreement sounding badly due to no internet voice. Also, its a matter of timing, after the horrendous last season you'd be hard pressed to remember the merits in the show.

inu-kun:
To be fair OP I doubt there's actual hate, more strong disagreement sounding badly due to no internet voice. Also, its a matter of timing, after the horrendous last season you'd be hard pressed to remember the merits in the show.

True, hate might be a bit too strong word to use here. And I agree, during the last season the show took a proper dip down in quality.

I've launched a similar argument before, but for different reasons. Namely: George RR Martin is a world-builder and big-picture storyteller who loves details. He is not a dramatist or character writer. His prose is the brownest I've ever read (with the exception of understatement grandmaster Michael Moorcock), and his characters all speak inhumanly plainly - and all in the same flat voice.

Tyrion is not actually witty or humourous in the books (though he's described to be), but crabby and blunt in what he says. Bronn isn't sarcastic. Olenna (the Tyrell's Queen) has none of her wonderfully cutting banter with Varys, or Tywin, or anyone else for that matter. Littlefinger's debates with Varys - probably some of the best parts of the series - never happen, and the dialogue between the spymaster and Tyrion is truncated to a footnote. I can think of a half-dozen perfect lines that exemplify the Hound's character right now. None of them come from the books. Everyone sounds the same: neutral, terse, plainly spoken if they speak at all. From homely peasants to foreign nobility.

The books are not adept at carrying across emotions - they'll happily describe the dishes and songs and ornaments of a feast, but will spare as few words as possible illuminating how characters act, sound, or look, even in moments of pure rage or total despair.

On the other hand, all of the fantastic and colourful backgrounds, names, and concepts for these people and places come from GRRM's brain. Even a throwaway black brother becomes Stonesnake, or Dolorous Edd. He's adept at drawing up a diverse and colourful cast of characters with nuanced motivations from afar, but abominable at playing them up close. They fall flat when they need to stand in front of an audience, vocalize their thoughts, feel things, and seem human (or worse - larger than life).

You couldn't have the series without the books. Westeros is a world detailed and realized enough that it's often argued to rival Middle Earth, and the grand scale and depth of the plots transpiring within it is something to behold. Neither of these is any mean feat.

But the books aren't flawless; even for their medium they have issues with presentation. It shouldn't be sacrosanct to admit that the series' screen writers know their way around a scene and characters, and can write natural, enjoyable dialogue in circles around the source material.

Happyninja42:

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.

I disagree heavily. In the books she at least matures towards the end and learns to take care of herself somewhat. In the show she stays just as retarded as she always was, getting married to another psychopath by her own will, because the last time was so fun, right?

Oh, an article about the ways in which a TV adaption is superior to a series of books ... no way this is going to be contentious at all.

1. Better Pacing

Wait, what? Really? Well paced?
Not that the first 4 seasons are poorly paced, but, then again, neither are the books they're based on. It's only until AFFC that the pacing suffers, yet, the claim that the adaptation of AFFC and ADWD (season 5) was well paced is absolutely laughable. I stand by my opinion that AFFC (and ADWD to a lesser extent) were more bloated than necessary, but season 5 was much further from appropriate pacing in the opposite direction, being way too rushed.

2 & 3 are basically variations of "I like visuals more than text", which doesn't really add anything. It's kind of like saying that games are better than film because you can play them. Now, I get that this is an opinion piece, but it just feels about the same as writing an article about why Pepsi taste better than Coke, or Tea is better than Coffee.

4. Is rather baffling to me. I get the idea of Renly's sexuality playing a more prominent role, but I don't see any other examples of how less subtlety is better. Even then, Renly's sexuality was barely explored in any meaningful way until the fifth season with the Sparrows. Up until that point it only really served various quips and the occasional "sexposition", so very little has been gained.

5. Well, I feel this one has already been summed up by others.

Jandau:

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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.
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Pretty much this. Some of the characters got "warmer", others became more villainous. Most of them lost a lot of depth, and have been rather whitewashed.

6. This is pretty much the only point I can more or less agree on, with a few caveats. The most obvious being that they've cut out a lot of characters for the show, and given far less screen time to others due to time constraints. But I can agree that a point of view less constrained to a small roster of characters does help freshen things up at times, plus it gives makes up for valuable exposition opportunities lost by the absence of a narrator.

FirstNameLastName:

Thanks, I'll try to ponder on these a bit.

I love the show because it has now diverged from its source material. Some points of the books it does add to and craft beautifully, however so much is changed and committed, the show runners themselves have opted to tell a different story breaking from the same beginnings as the book's story. It allows BOTH to be brilliant master works in their own right, rather than this BOOKS BEAT SHOW business.

Finland mentioned!
Back on topic, I respectfully disagree with most of these points. One of the biggest flaw I think the show has is that the makers, instead of making scenes where the plot moves ahead, they instead want to make nude-scenes, that have next to nothing to do with the overall story.

Another flaw, does it feel like to anyone else that the show-Westeros is kinda, empty? Where are the minor Houses that support the Great Houses? granted, they don't have much to do with the story, but it made this continent feel alive.

I thought the fight between the Viper and the Mountain was better in the books. You got the sense that it was a much closer fight with Oberyn staying just ahead by using his wits and cheating a bit with a very shiny shield to reflect the sun, where in the series he was just showing off like some kind of idiot for most of the fight. And some poor bystander in the crowd gets chopped in half as well.

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