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The Lady Blue
July 24th, 2012, 08:54 AM
I realize that usually this question is presented the other way around, but I really like the HBO series without having read any of the books. I read an excerpt from one of the books on George R.R. Martin's website, and the writing seemed really wordy to me. He's very descriptive, and I've heard that he does a lot of POVs.

I like to read books that have good world-building and very structured characters, but I know a couple of people that said that the books confused them because there are so many characters, and the series actually helped them make more sense of what they read. Now that season 2 is over, I am wondering if I shouldn't try reading the books. I just don't want it to be overly detail laden where the plot doesn't progress at a steady and sometimes swift pace. I'm hoping for a rollercoaster ride, but somehow I think I may be in for a wagon buggy ride if I start in on the books.

Can someone please tell me the pros and cons of reading the books, and if they are as good as watching the series? :confused:

Thank you.

DigiFluid
July 24th, 2012, 09:32 AM
Yes. You may find the first book (and maybe even the second) a little challenging to get through just because of how closely the show followed the source material, but it also provides so much depth and backstory as well.

You've heard right in that he is extremely descriptive. He spends so much time on descriptions that it's a bit of a joke amongst fans that he'll go on for pages at a time describing food, but it's part of the charm of his style. It adds a very real feel to the world he's created, even if it does get a little tiresome at times.

And "a lot of POVs" doesn't quite cover it. Every single chapter is a POV chapter, that's how he writes. It's not like other books where it's Chapter 1, 2, etc. GRRM writes his books in character chapters...you'll get a chapter from Jon's POV, then a chapter from Arya's POV, a chapter from Tyrion's POV, etc etc. Occasionally there will be some overlap, but as you know from the TV series most of the characters are split up quite early on, so while they may talk about something you just read, they weren't actually there so you're not seeing the same scene twice. (Note: I have come across one solitary exception to that, where the exact same scene is shown twice from different characters; once in book 4 and again in book 5).

A little word of caution: books 4 and 5 go a little wonky. What GRRM had originally intended following book 3 was to jump ahead 5 years and just fill in the relevant bits of the gap by flashback. But as the manuscript got bigger and bigger, he decided that it wasn't working and instead took those flashbacks and expanded them into actual storytelling. But then the manuscript got even more massive, too big for his publisher, so he had to split it.

But he didn't split it in the traditional 'To Be Continued' way, he split it by characters. So all of book 4 runs chronologically parallel to about the first 2/3 of book 5; characters A, B, C, D are in book 4 but not 5, while characters E, F, G, H are in book 5 but not 4.

Once you hit that 2/3 (or so) point through book 5, however, it's into new (chronological) territory and all characters are fair game again (characters you haven't seen since book 4 start appearing again).

The biggest problem with the split though IMO is not its wonky chronology, but in how he decided to divide the characters. Most of the worst or least interesting characters appear in book 4 with few to none of the good ones, and consequently it's a real chore to get through. But as a consequence, most of the best characters are in book 5, so it's pretty fantastic!

Crazedwraith
July 24th, 2012, 09:51 AM
No. They're better.

The Lady Blue
July 24th, 2012, 09:52 AM
Thank you, DigiFluid. Since books one and two cover the series very closely, do you think that it would be okay to skip to book three, or would you say that I'd be missing too much of the detail contained in those books?

The Lady Blue
July 24th, 2012, 09:53 AM
No. They're better.

Good to know. :)

P.S. I like your banner.

DigiFluid
July 24th, 2012, 10:04 AM
Thank you, DigiFluid. Since books one and two cover the series very closely, do you think that it would be okay to skip to book three, or would you say that I'd be missing too much of the detail contained in those books?

The first book should be skippable, though I'd still gently caution against it because you'd probably miss out on backstory.

May not be a good idea to skip the second one though. A number of changes were made for the sake of the show..without getting too specific:
some scenes/sequences from the book were entirely cut
certain characters introduced in book 2 were not introduced in season 2 and were held back for season 3, so if you start book 3 before season 3 starts, you'll be left wondering who these people are
certain things happened in the book to launch existing characters' new stories which didn't happen in season 2, so you'd be left wondering how/why they are where they are if you skip ahead to book 3
at least one character's story played out quite differently in the book than the show (suffice it to say that Robb had a LOT more to do on the show than he did in book 2)
Talisa from season 2 is a character original to the show; she is not a character in the books
many of the show's whores are not in the books at all
the stuff with Brienne/Jamie in the last episode of season 2 was actually in the first chapter or two of book 3

Naonak
July 24th, 2012, 11:49 AM
certain characters introduced in book 2 were not introduced in season 2 and were held back for season 3, so if you start book 3 before season 3 starts, you'll be left wondering who these people are

Hell, some characters introduced in the first book still haven't been introduced on the show.

Crazedwraith
July 24th, 2012, 12:53 PM
Good to know. :)

P.S. I like your banner.

Ha. Ha. Thanks. Alas i didn't make it myself.

To clarify the books, cover pretty much everything in more depth and let you in on the character's thoughts a lot more. it's also unhindered by budget so set peices are alot grander in scale if of course you can imagine them in your head well enough.

I'd recommend against skipping the first couple of books.
The big downside for me is well... i end up watching the show and not so much enjoying it as sitting their and mentally cataloging all the changes that have been made.

I've only seen the first series and the best scene in it for me? Arya's first sword lesson because its the closest to book but actually expands on it very nicely with Ned watching,

magictrick
July 24th, 2012, 01:31 PM
I think it is always interesting to read books that have been adapted into a show/movie. The books usually offer a lot greater detail about the characters and their background. I enjoy reading about the little details that are often omitted in the show/movie due to obvious time constraints. Sometimes there are also obvious changes that occur, so it is cool to compare the two.

In this case, the first book is pretty much covered in season 1. The 2nd book though, as mentioned above, was adapted with several key changes into season 2, so you might want to read it to see what they are. Plus you get some additional insight on the background of some of the characters.

Brother Freyr
July 25th, 2012, 04:51 AM
Having re-read the entire series several times, my advice is: read them all. Most people love the books, so it's a safe bet that you will, too. If you discover that you're among the minority who dislike the books, then just stop. No real harm done. My one caveat is to not decide until you're at least halfway through the first book. GRRM creates a complicated world with many characters, and there's a learning curve. Also, use the appendix with the family trees. Often. It's there to help you.

The Lady Blue
July 25th, 2012, 08:17 AM
The first book should be skippable, though I'd still gently caution against it because you'd probably miss out on backstory.

May not be a good idea to skip the second one though. A number of changes were made for the sake of the show..without getting too specific:
some scenes/sequences from the book were entirely cut
certain characters introduced in book 2 were not introduced in season 2 and were held back for season 3, so if you start book 3 before season 3 starts, you'll be left wondering who these people are
certain things happened in the book to launch existing characters' new stories which didn't happen in season 2, so you'd be left wondering how/why they are where they are if you skip ahead to book 3
at least one character's story played out quite differently in the book than the show (suffice it to say that Robb had a LOT more to do on the show than he did in book 2)
Talisa from season 2 is a character original to the show; she is not a character in the books
many of the show's whores are not in the books at all
the stuff with Brienne/Jamie in the last episode of season 2 was actually in the first chapter or two of book 3

Thank you for the detailed advice, DigiFluid. I really appreciate it. So I at least have to start with book 2. Got it. :)

The Lady Blue
July 25th, 2012, 08:19 AM
Ha. Ha. Thanks. Alas i didn't make it myself.

To clarify the books, cover pretty much everything in more depth and let you in on the character's thoughts a lot more. it's also unhindered by budget so set peices are alot grander in scale if of course you can imagine them in your head well enough.

I'd recommend against skipping the first couple of books.
The big downside for me is well... i end up watching the show and not so much enjoying it as sitting their and mentally cataloging all the changes that have been made.

I've only seen the first series and the best scene in it for me? Arya's first sword lesson because its the closest to book but actually expands on it very nicely with Ned watching,


Well it's still nice. :)

Okay, you and the other posters here have sold me on starting with book 1. I'll see where it goes from there. I just know I like a plot that moves along, but I'll see.

Skydiver
July 25th, 2012, 06:56 PM
I too recommend reading the books.
Last summer I watched season 1, then read the books, finally finished dances wtih dragons last fall/winter.
You do get more backstory in the books. why does this house have this banner, where did that feud come from, etc.

relationships are explained in more detail

does GRRM ramble on? oh yeah. Dude will spend 6 paragraphs describing what everyone is wearing....and then toss a single sentence at the end of a chapter dealing with someone's fate.

the only hard about reading it now is knowing when to stop if you don't want to be spoiled for the upcoming season

Ser Scot A Ellison
July 26th, 2012, 01:55 PM
Skydiver,

You have GRRM confused with Robert Jordan.

Crazedwraith
July 26th, 2012, 03:01 PM
Yeah GRRM goes for the food descriptions. Not clothes...

Dodgified
July 27th, 2012, 05:18 PM
I have a question, I've just started book 2 and I'm wondering if I should read book 3 straight away when I'm done, or wait for the series to cover book 3 before starting to read it? I went back and watched some of season 1 again and I was picking at it with what i knew from the books and i don't want to do that all the time... but i might forget enough by march? hmm i can't decide!

DigiFluid
July 27th, 2012, 05:22 PM
Up to you ;) I read Clash of Kings before Season 2 and still enjoyed the show, even though I did find myself nitpicking. The show is very very good :)

And Storm of Swords is a phenomenal book!

Skydiver
July 27th, 2012, 06:41 PM
Yeah GRRM goes for the food descriptions. Not clothes...

he does go on a bit about armor and sigils and flags and the such. this house's color is....this house's color is.....

I was always like 'dude, i will not remember it' and just skim past.

Brother Freyr
July 27th, 2012, 10:12 PM
I have a question, I've just started book 2 and I'm wondering if I should read book 3 straight away when I'm done, or wait for the series to cover book 3 before starting to read it? I went back and watched some of season 1 again and I was picking at it with what i knew from the books and i don't want to do that all the time... but i might forget enough by march? hmm i can't decide!
FWIW, I don't believe my book knowledge has diminished enjoyment of the TV series. If you want to stay on the safe side, read the books now, so that many months pass before the next season of television begins.

Nymeria
August 10th, 2012, 03:03 PM
Better. Much, much better.

And I love series.

Skydiver
October 8th, 2012, 03:57 AM
In the books, you know a lot of the back story. You read the 'beefed up' version of what you see in the show. you read motivations and feelings and attitudes.

In the show, not so much. Many storylines have been eliminated or simplified.

On the other hand, GRRM rambles....a lot. He can go on for pages and pages over who's wearing what, what their standards are and what's for dinner. Some storylines plod along for the length of a book when they could have been handled in a couple of chapters. So the winnowing down that the show does, not totally a bad thing.

I also find it hard to have a mental image of any written character. The show gives me faces to put to the names.

Lunaeclipse
October 24th, 2012, 06:25 PM
I think that they both have their merits. I like reading the reasoning of the characters in the book and getting a larger explanation of things, but at the same time there are things I thought were done better on the show. Making the book into a series, obviously a few things had to change, slightly, for it to work, but I don't think it damaged it as a story.

Another point, for me, is that they are written a certain way and come off a little more interesting (or less) at times. I'll use Tyrion as an example. In the book I read him as sleazy and have trouble liking him as a character, but on the series Tyrion was brought to life in a way I obviously hadn't imagined.... which is what the actor or actress brings to the character as well...

Smooth
November 20th, 2012, 02:34 PM
If you enjoy reading books, then this series is absolutely worth it. If you don't normally read, but enjoy what you've seen in the show and would like to learn more, then it's worth it. If you're going to skip pages or paragraphs, or treat reading as if it's the monster under the bed, you're wasting your time, just watch the show. As of now, the series is roughly 5000 pages long (paperback) with more to come. That's a daunting task for the people that struggle with 300 page books. If your general experience with reading is the crap the gave you in high school that you didn't care about, and knew you would have to write a paper on, don't let that ruin books like this for you. Fans of this series don't think 5000 pages is nearly enough.

I will agree that the first book and the first season was right on the money. There are things that got lost in the shuffle that were very important though. You can get by without them, but why? If you're going to commit to the series, you might as well read the whole thing. The second season was full of significant changes, but didn't change the broad strokes of the story. In a lot of instances, you get bonus content. In others, things are completely different.

Examples: Dany never has her dragons stolen. Xaro was lily white and gay. You don't see so much of Robb in the books. You hear about him, but Robb and Stannis and Tywin are really more of a plot device. The events of Harrenhall happen differently. Arya is responsible for the deaths, directly and indirectly of many more people...

If you read ahead, you may watch some of the show in disbelief. You know that something is going to happen, but they change the way it happens. A lot of times I become preoccupied with the fact that a part, or character, that I liked is not included or changed. The entire "Blackwater" episode I was wondering where Tyrions chain was, it didn't appear. It was a pretty big deal in the book, and yet it was still an awesome episode. I can already tell you that this type of thing will continue into the third season based on the cast. The fact is that there are so many characters in the books, that it's a bit impossible to have a perfect recreation within a budget.

On it's own, the show is wonderful. Especially if you still haven't grasped the concept that there's no such thing as good guys and bad guys in this series. You'll continue to be surprised at every turn. The books are so much more powerful, full of story and information that the world of ASOIAF can become a hobby in it's own way. They are their own, and they are separate.

I had yet to read the books prior to the first season. When Ned got his head chopped off, I thought "Nah, He'll be back next week". I was convinced the cavalry would come in and save him, it was just a TV trick. I remember how shocking that was. Still, there are some events that will happen that I cannot imagine would be told better in the show than it was in the books. I'm sure it will still be powerful, but it's hard to duplicate something you consider to be perfect.

I can't say which way is best. Watch the show then read the books, read the books then watch the show, follow along in the books with the show, there's no good answer. Sometimes you get moments where Dany gets her dragons stolen and you want to pull out your hair because you know that is wrong. There's good moments like when they're singing Reynes of Castamere that are uplifting if you have knowledge of the books, but you wont experience if you don't.

The show compliments the books, but don't take the shows word for it.

The Lady Blue
March 3rd, 2013, 01:40 AM
^Thank you for such a well thought-out post. :) It's good to know that I wouldn't just be reading what I just watched. That kind of held me off, but I think I'm going to try reading book one, and that will be safe. I don't want to go too far because I don't want that feeling of frustration when things are different. Like, I really like the red haired "working woman" that is in Littlefinger's employ and how it seems like Varis is going to save her from Peter's cruelty, but I've been told she's not even in the books at all.

Thanks. :)

JadedWraith
March 4th, 2013, 02:25 AM
In the books, you know a lot of the back story. You read the 'beefed up' version of what you see in the show. you read motivations and feelings and attitudes.

In the show, not so much. Many storylines have been eliminated or simplified.

On the other hand, GRRM rambles....a lot. He can go on for pages and pages over who's wearing what, what their standards are and what's for dinner. Some storylines plod along for the length of a book when they could have been handled in a couple of chapters. So the winnowing down that the show does, not totally a bad thing.

Yeah, George does ramble on...sometimes it's very informative, sometimes it's just rambling. On most occasions he's a very effective writer.




I also find it hard to have a mental image of any written character. The show gives me faces to put to the names.

I generally don't have much difficulty of forming a mental image but as I started with the series, obviously the current actors image "hijacked" the characters.

I watched the first series and started reading the books. And then I was so deep into the books , I stopped watching the series. Which I suppose it is unusual. I' get to catch up one of these days, Image and written word can be two very different worlds. Some events in the books can't be translated to images (at least in daytime TV). I'd say in this case they're complementary.

Lunaeclipse
March 5th, 2013, 12:23 PM
...I like that in the books they explain the characters thoughts, which is not done in the series so much because you have to change it into a spoken sentence to translate it or find some other way to bring it out... There are times when the characters are funny or reveal something by one thought written between talking...which Jamie and Tyrion had some good ones... I got more of a feel for who the characters were by their thoughts and actions...

but as I said earlier they both have their merits...

magictrick
March 6th, 2013, 08:34 AM
...I like that in the books they explain the characters thoughts, which is not done in the series so much because you have to change it into a spoken sentence to translate it or find some other way to bring it out... There are times when the characters are funny or reveal something by one thought written between talking...which Jamie and Tyrion had some good ones... I got more of a feel for who the characters were by their thoughts and actions...

but as I said earlier they both have their merits...

This is difficult to do on a television show, as it would take up too much screen time delving into each character's thoughts. I think the show does a good job of showing us what each character's motivations are though.

poundpuppy29
March 6th, 2013, 02:37 PM
I am thinking about this book series I like the show thanks for all the answers it does help it gives me insight.

I know this is an adult series but for example I enjoyed Harry Potter movies then I got into the books and I loved the books more but I also enjoyed the show Legend of the Seeker and tried the book and I couldn't stand it didn't get through the first one the writing style drove me nuts I was like get to the point already but I was never like that with the HP books.

So does he get to the point and keep you interested in the books?

Skydiver
March 6th, 2013, 06:41 PM
initially, yes. But I feel that he does start to meander and wander in the later books. I think I said above, it was like he got lost in the story so just kept writing chapters for the sake of writing as he was trying to figure out where he was going with it.

I did read the books after only seeing season 1, so I had the draw of what happens to whom. but I do kinda wonder if, by the end of HBO's series - which is very possible to wrap up the story before Martin does - if the series won't go down as 'better' than the books, simply because it moves faster and more efficiently.

Lunaeclipse
March 6th, 2013, 07:17 PM
This is difficult to do on a television show, as it would take up too much screen time delving into each character's thoughts. I think the show does a good job of showing us what each character's motivations are though.

I agree...

I'm really enjoying the show as well as the books. I just got through A Feast For Crows, which seemed to take a long time and didn't have so many of my favourite characters in it, but for me it made up for it with the surprises it gave along the way...

magictrick
March 7th, 2013, 10:43 AM
I agree...

I'm really enjoying the show as well as the books. I just got through A Feast For Crows, which seemed to take a long time and didn't have so many of my favourite characters in it, but for me it made up for it with the surprises it gave along the way...

I think most people would agree with you on that. It likely has to do with the fact that originally it was supposed to be just one book but the story became too long so GRRM split it into A Feast of Crows and A Dance with Dragons. I enjoyed ADWD a lot more. The purpose of both these books is to lay the foundation of what is to come in the final 2 though, so that is where I expect the epic stories to return.

Skydiver
March 8th, 2013, 06:52 PM
I know he split them, and while i can understand how he did it and why, I sometimes have to wonder if a more readable way would have been to split them up based on chronology rather than characters.

it was quite disconcerting to read Dance and have to remember, yeah, rewind a year, that hasn't happened yet'

its' like you lose contact with certain characters for so long and you kinda forget about them.

The Lady Blue
March 9th, 2013, 01:21 AM
I know he split them, and while i can understand how he did it and why, I sometimes have to wonder if a more readable way would have been to split them up based on chronology rather than characters.

it was quite disconcerting to read Dance and have to remember, yeah, rewind a year, that hasn't happened yet'

its' like you lose contact with certain characters for so long and you kinda forget about them.

I read your spoiler, and that does not sound good. It just doesn't seem logical. I've heard that the book was split into two, but I just assumed that he found a good point in the middle to wrap things up for the one half and then have a good start for the other. The way that it sounds seems like reading the same story again, just from a different angle. That doesn't seem as fun.

Brother Freyr
March 9th, 2013, 10:37 AM
I read your spoiler, and that does not sound good. It just doesn't seem logical. I've heard that the book was split into two, but I just assumed that he found a good point in the middle to wrap things up for the one half and then have a good start for the other. The way that it sounds seems like reading the same story again, just from a different angle. That doesn't seem as fun.
Hopefully the series will recover when the integrated story resumes in the next volume.

fumblesmcstupid
March 9th, 2013, 03:13 PM
I had no idea that Game of Thrones was a book series. Then I bought them all. I started reading A Clash of Kings, O.M.goodness I just could not get into it. It makes my brother crazy because he read them all in one setting. He was reading a Feast of Crows, I was stuck on Arya in ACOK. He was half way through Dragons. Clash of Kings just started up.
I have Dyspraxia and huge paragraphs after a while get a muddled and I lose my place. So one day I was not reading Clash and my brother snatched it out of my hands and said "just watch the show." So I did.

Skydiver
March 10th, 2013, 07:22 PM
I read your spoiler, and that does not sound good. It just doesn't seem logical. I've heard that the book was split into two, but I just assumed that he found a good point in the middle to wrap things up for the one half and then have a good start for the other. The way that it sounds seems like reading the same story again, just from a different angle. That doesn't seem as fun.


Yeah, no

It's like a year is told from the POV of this group of characters in one book, then you read the other book and it's told from the POV of the others.

not a publishing choice I would have made because there were a few times when I was reading the later book and thinking 'no wait that's wrong...oh right, this event hasn't happened yet'

I'm gonna guess, when HBO gets that far, they will make a different choice
If for no other reason than to keep all the actors on contract and working instead of having part of them take a year off and then see if they can get them back or deal with the physical changes that go on during that year....especially with actresses like Arya, who will literally grow too much during a year off to be easily seen as the same character

magictrick
March 11th, 2013, 12:14 PM
I liked the idea of splitting up the POVs into different books. The problem is that so much time passed between the release of AFOC and ADWD that people forgot the story lines. If, for instance, ADWD would have been released the following year, I think it would have worked out a lot better.

I am sure the HBO show will make the necessary adjustments in terms of the timeline. They have shown they will make the changes they think work best of television, as shown by their decision to split up the next book into two seasons.

Planetary
April 22nd, 2013, 06:29 PM
There are book loyalists who will say the books are masterpieces, and those are generally the same people who have a problem with every small deviation from the source material, even if those deviations make complete narrative sense.

But the problem with that view is that just because it was in the books, doesn't mean it's "better" in a narrative sense.

The truth is that George R.R. Martin has a great ear for dialogue and writes most of his characters masterfully, but he's also undisciplined, prone to long and pointless detours, and in dire need of a good editor. Even his most loyal fans seem to realize this, judging by the thousands upon thousands of underwhelming reviews of the last few books in the series on sites like Amazon.

The first two books are, for the most part, well-structured and move along at a solid pace. The third book starts to exhibit problems that seriously plague the two most recent books. And even though the third book features arguably the most dramatic and jaw-dropping developments, it has serious flaws.

I like the books as an extended guide to the universe of ASOIAF and a great way for fans to delve deeper into history and politics underpinning the narrative.

Cold Fuzz
April 24th, 2013, 08:49 PM
I liked the idea of splitting up the POVs into different books. The problem is that so much time passed between the release of AFOC and ADWD that people forgot the story lines. If, for instance, ADWD would have been released the following year, I think it would have worked out a lot better.

I am sure the HBO show will make the necessary adjustments in terms of the timeline. They have shown they will make the changes they think work best of television, as shown by their decision to split up the next book into two seasons.

I wish the split between Feast for Crows and Dance with Dragons wasn't between characters, to be honest. Feast was agonizingly slow for me, especially with so many unfamiliar POV characters that didn't grab me. It wasn't until the latter half of Feast that I really got into the plot (or lack thereof because of the split, in my opinion).

Dance with Dragons, on the other hand, had me fascinated from page one. Despite several slow sections, the reader got the sense of some real forward momentum, which was sorely lacking in Feast, at least for me.

poundpuppy29
April 26th, 2013, 02:09 PM
I may just wait for all the books to come out before I even read the first one so I know there will be an ending

Brother Freyr
April 26th, 2013, 04:27 PM
I may just wait for all the books to come out before I even read the first one so I know there will be an endingha, you'll wait a long time

poundpuppy29
April 27th, 2013, 09:35 AM
ha, you'll wait a long time
Yes but I have the TV series to keep me entertained :D

poundpuppy29
May 1st, 2013, 02:55 PM
I read some reviews on Amazon and it's very funny how some of the fans reviewed the last 2 books here are the links warning there are some spoilers

http://www.amazon.com/Feast-Crows-Song-Fire-Book/dp/0553582038/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367444822&sr=8-1&keywords=feast+for+crows

you have to scroll down to see them but it is very funny

http://www.amazon.com/Dance-Dragons-Song-Fire-Book/dp/0553801473/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=2544OQ24BGPZL&coliid=I1QAVKVG80PJY2

reading these does make me wonder if I should even bother with the books at all though the general impression I get is that the first 3 books are really good but the last 2 are not as well written and has a lot of stuff that doesn't make sense or plot holes and he really doesn't seem to know what direction he's going

Brother Freyr
May 2nd, 2013, 08:39 PM
the general impression I get is that the first 3 books are really good but the last 2 are not as well written and has a lot of stuff that doesn't make sense or plot holes and he really doesn't seem to know what direction he's goingI trust he still knows where he's going. I think he's got an end in sight for Bran and Danyris at the very least. GRRM seems to have undergone the procedure known as editor-ectomy. It's fashionable among successful fantasy authors. They get a few bestsellers under their belt, and their editors become powerless to revise and revoke. The end-product suffers. Even so, I enjoyed the most recent books. No regrets whatsoever.

Lunaeclipse
May 3rd, 2013, 03:34 PM
Parts of 'A Feast For Crows' were interesting and parts of it seemed to go no where, but I managed to stay curious as to where he was going... (am still reading ADWD)

Skydiver
May 4th, 2013, 09:14 AM
Editor-ectomy or 'editorial override'

Authors can fall in love with their own work and become very self-indulgent...and lose sight of what they're really doing/writing. And then have enough clout to defy people.

Their work can suffer (honestly I look at star wars episodes 1-3 the same way, Lucas with billions and no one able to rein him in)

I think, ultimately, HBO has and will keep editorial control and the tv show stands to be far more concise and better paced than the books.

Lunaeclipse
May 5th, 2013, 01:16 AM
Editor-ectomy or 'editorial override'

Authors can fall in love with their own work and become very self-indulgent...and lose sight of what they're really doing/writing. And then have enough clout to defy people.

Their work can suffer (honestly I look at star wars episodes 1-3 the same way, Lucas with billions and no one able to rein him in)

I think, ultimately, HBO has and will keep editorial control and the tv show stands to be far more concise and better paced than the books.

I'll agree with that. :)

poundpuppy29
May 7th, 2013, 01:43 PM
Here's the review that had me laughing for Dance with Dragons

spoilers for those who don't want to read
I'm Varamyr Sixskins. I'm here for the prologue to set us all up for the impending horrors of the North and all the excitement to come...

I'm Tyrion Lannister, the most popular character in all of Westeros! I spend this book meandering down a really slow river, ruminating bitterly about my life, misplacing my former charm, eroding all the goodwill I built up in the other books, and wondering where the whores go. Though perhaps I should have been wondering where the plot went. I also observe turtles and women, play board games, mouth off to all and sundry, and coincidentally run into various characters like some wandering monster in a D&D campaign. Maybe I'll make it to Daenarys in the next book, but at least I ditched that pig.

I'm Asha Greyjoy. I don't have much to do, so I'll be the POV character keeping track of Stannis and his forces. At the beginning of Dance with Dragons, he's working his way towards Winterfell to take it back from the Boltons. At the end of Dance with Dragons, he's...working his way towards Winterfell to take it back from the Boltons. Hope that helps.

I'm Ser Davon Seaworth, the Onion Knight. I'm still running errands for Stannis and getting captured frequently. It's a living.

I'm Bran Stark. I am a tree.

I'm Daenarys Targaryen. I'm only a young girl, and I know little in the ways of war, governance, what have you. I used to think I said these things to misdirect people, but as of DoD it seems to be true. I spend my time taking baths, fretting, being wishy-washy, and mooning over this hot mercenary dude. In the end I learn that "you have to go back to go forward." I would have thought that going backwards would be the last thing that this book needs, but I am only a young girl and know little of the ways of story advancement.

I'm Aegon Targaryen. I appear for the first time in book five as the long thought dead son of Prince Rhaegar and the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. I know, right? What a surprise! It's like I was just pulled from thin air! I spend much of the book traveling to Daenarys, but then I change my mind and go and invade Westeros without her. Sort of. No one important has noticed yet. See you in the next book!

I'm Griff, aka Jon Connington. I'm here to get Aegon Targaryen on the Iron Throne. I tried to tell that kid not to wait until the fifth book to show up if he wants to be king. Now nobody's invested in us. We're like, peripheral characters or something. Nobody cares. I (*sniff*) just want someone to care, you know?

I'm Theon Greyjoy. Turns out I'm not dead, though I rather wish I were. It's been rough. On the bright side, my chapters were some of the only highlights of this bloated beast of a book. I even got to be almost a hero at the end! Can't wait for the next book. Redemption arc ahoy! People like me now!

Tyrion: Settle down sailor. You're not really a major character, and people still don't like you.

I'm Jaime Lannister. I snuck in to steal a chapter just like I would steal a kiss from my sweet sister. Oh look, there's Brienne! She's not dead after all. Whatever could have happened? Oops, we gotta go now, so I'll guess we'll never know. Blink and you'll miss us!

I'm Ser Robert *cough*Gregor*cough* Strong *cough*not dead*cough*. Gregor SMASH!

I'm the Hound. You know, I strongly suspect that I might not be dead either.

Tyrion: Quiet, you. No one even mentions you in this book.

I'm Wyman Manderly. I'm a minor character, but I bring a bit of awesome anyway. I was last seen bleeding from a neck wound. I wonder if I'll die. Your guess is as good as the author's.

I'm John Snow. I command the wall and defend Westeros from the horrors of the North. I count sides of beef and sausages, receive messages, meet with my staff, greet newcomers, and find bedrooms for all the wildings. Seriously, am I a commander or a butler? It's the end of the book already, we need some action! I'll march on Winterfell and retake it from the cursed Boltons! Away we go! Oh, dang it. Stabbed from all sides. There goes that plan. It sure does seem like I'll die now...

I'm Quentyn Martell. I'm kind of a side plot that has no impact at all on the main story. Then I die. But the good news is that I really am dead for sure!

I'm Melisandre. I get a chapter where I play with fire and see things and act all cryptic with people. Well, I have to amuse myself somehow. It's booorrring at the wall.

I'm Victarion Grayjoy.
Sailing, sailing, over the bounding main!
This book will end
Before I meet
Daenarys Targaryen!

I'm Aero Hota. Don't worry, I don't really remember who I am either. Not much to see here, anyway.

I'm Cersei Lannister. I get two chapters of humiliation. I can has some of Theon's reader sympathy now? No? Well then. I won't forget this. A Lannister always pays his debts...maybe in the next book.

I'm Ayra Stark. I'm in two chapters, too, and I kill someone, like I always do. But this time it's different; this time someone told me to. That's progress. Maybe someday I'll kill someone who has something to do with the main story.

I'm Barriston Selmy. I putter around Meereen, trying in some small way to advance the plot. Alas, to little avail. I'm too old for this.

I'm Kevan Lannister. I waited a thousand pages for a POV and all I got was this lousy epilogue and a quarrel in the chest. Oh well. At least I'm well and truly done with this mess.

Varys: Maybe.

We're the Others. We are the horror of the North and theoretically the real Big Bad Threat in this series. It's five books in, and we still haven't really gotten to do anything yet. To be honest, we're too bored to bother any more. We're going to invade Canada instead and subdue them to our icy will. Apologies everyone!

Hugs and kisses!

Skydiver
May 7th, 2013, 05:15 PM
awesome

now if the next book comes out I can remember where the story left off without having to wade through it again

magictrick
May 8th, 2013, 07:45 AM
That review is hilarious and also helpful in reminding us what each character did in the book. Awesome.

Skydiver
May 8th, 2013, 06:24 PM
I agree. That reviewer should do the '2 page GOT summary' for every book.

Galileo
August 28th, 2013, 05:54 PM
In my opinion, the books are better than the series. I read them first of course, and I think that will always cloud a persons judgement. However I found it a lot easier to keep track with the characters in the book rather than in the movie. It should be said that HPO did do some small messing around with the characters, and I think the restriction of a smaller timeframe meant it was a necessity. It all comes down to what kind of a reader you are. If you are the sort of person who can be patient with a descriptive work, then you will be rewarded with the unique character perspectives that you miss out on quite a bit during the series.
There are also many little clues to what's coming up that you get in the books which we haven't seen in the series yet.

Lunaeclipse
August 28th, 2013, 09:31 PM
... I find that the pace of the early books was better, the later ones took too long and the tv series moves too fast...

darkaine
September 24th, 2013, 05:49 PM
I'll come to this party late and say that I read book 1 and started booked 2 after I saw season 2. Frankly I like not knowing what is going to happen in the show so I won't skip ahead but the books help refresh my memory and fill in story.

I generally don't like over descriptive writers (never could make it through lord of the rings) but I love the books that I've read so far anyway so maybe he's not that bad. I figure if I drag out reading the books long enough maybe I will never run out of books to read.

fems
January 3rd, 2014, 12:32 PM
I don't remember if I've mentioned that I started reading the books a few months ago (after the season 3 finale of the show) but I did and I enjoyed them. Had to stop myself from reading as not to spoil the events of the show, since I really liked being shocked by stuff like the red wedding.

However, I recently discussed the show/books with my brother and sister-in-law (they've read all the books but couldn't bring themselves to watch the last two episodes of the show yet, knowing what was coming) and realized I was already starting to forget a few things, so I just finished a rewatch of the show. I was amazed at some of the things that weren't there! Apparently, I had started mixing up the books with the show and my imagination had gone wild, because I could have sworn I'd seen this and that scene! Also, I was surprised at where the show's finale had ended as I can clearly remember the upcoming events but, again, I clearly had the actors from the show in my head as I read the books since I really thought the show had gone further than Mhysa! :o

I felt a bit sheepish at this revelation but it does prove how well the books are written (I agree the last two are more boring than the rest, though) because I obviously had no trouble picturing the events very vividly...

Anyway, I would suggest reading the books if you enjoy the show as well. Some things make more sense now to me, as they are expanded upon in the book (like the eating/guest thing which was only briefly mentioned by Bran in the show) and the differences really aren't that major. I actually prefer most of the differences, like Jojen having the dream about the attack on Winterfell, although I must say I have a weak spot for Gendry in the show and am glad he got the story line that was for another bastard in the books, IIRC.

Lunaeclipse
January 6th, 2014, 11:12 AM
I don't remember if I've mentioned that I started reading the books a few months ago (after the season 3 finale of the show) but I did and I enjoyed them. Had to stop myself from reading as not to spoil the events of the show, since I really liked being shocked by stuff like the red wedding.

However, I recently discussed the show/books with my brother and sister-in-law (they've read all the books but couldn't bring themselves to watch the last two episodes of the show yet, knowing what was coming) and realized I was already starting to forget a few things, so I just finished a rewatch of the show. I was amazed at some of the things that weren't there! Apparently, I had started mixing up the books with the show and my imagination had gone wild, because I could have sworn I'd seen this and that scene! Also, I was surprised at where the show's finale had ended as I can clearly remember the upcoming events but, again, I clearly had the actors from the show in my head as I read the books since I really thought the show had gone further than Mhysa! :o

I felt a bit sheepish at this revelation but it does prove how well the books are written (I agree the last two are more boring than the rest, though) because I obviously had no trouble picturing the events very vividly...

Anyway, I would suggest reading the books if you enjoy the show as well. Some things make more sense now to me, as they are expanded upon in the book (like the eating/guest thing which was only briefly mentioned by Bran in the show) and the differences really aren't that major. I actually prefer most of the differences, like Jojen having the dream about the attack on Winterfell, although I must say I have a weak spot for Gendry in the show and am glad he got the story line that was for another bastard in the books, IIRC.

and a few things were different, Dany for example... they seemed to make her meeker for the start of the tv series when she was a bit tougher at the start of the books...

one of the things I enjoy in the book is also the thoughts of the characters, which you don't really get so much in the tv series... it gives you more insight as to who those characters are...

Morgania
January 6th, 2014, 03:16 PM
I've decided to read the books. It can be a bit hard to keep track of all the characters sometimes. How long is the book series going to be anyway?

Since I decided to like the Starks... I'm running out of characters. Which is sad.

VampyreWraith
January 7th, 2014, 03:53 PM
I've decided to read the books. It can be a bit hard to keep track of all the characters sometimes. How long is the book series going to be anyway?

Since I decided to like the Starks... I'm running out of characters. Which is sad.

There are supposed to be 7 books.

Lunaeclipse
January 7th, 2014, 05:59 PM
There are supposed to be 7 books.

There were seven books in a boxed set I saw, but the DWD book I have is as fat as the white and grey DWD (boxed set books) so I think it depends....

VampyreWraith
January 7th, 2014, 06:35 PM
Unless they are including the short stories or separating the larger books into two parts there are only 5 books out in The Song of Ice and Fire series so far, with 2 more that are supposed to come out.


A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons

the next one is supposed to be The Winds of Winter

Starfist
April 25th, 2014, 06:05 PM
I am currently reading Volume 2 of Book 3.
But I have found the books to be a good read. And from reading the books I've enjoyed watching the series more. Of course I am trying to spot the differences.

Skydiver
April 26th, 2014, 07:28 AM
I think the way HBO is going, first they're going to outstrip GRRM and end his series before he does, but also they're diverging here and there and it'll end up almost being two similar but different stories.

Lunaeclipse
April 26th, 2014, 06:34 PM
I think the way HBO is going, first they're going to outstrip GRRM and end his series before he does, but also they're diverging here and there and it'll end up almost being two similar but different stories.

GRRM is involved in the series I think it was 'co-executive producer' and he's written some of the eps and stuff...

http://www.vanityfair.com/vf-hollywood/george-r-r-martin-interview

P-90_177
April 26th, 2014, 06:55 PM
I think the way HBO is going, first they're going to outstrip GRRM and end his series before he does, but also they're diverging here and there and it'll end up almost being two similar but different stories.

He had reportedly already told the producers how his story ends in case he dies before he can finish it. Thy possibly have a contingency plan in case they begin to outpace him too.

ScoobyDoo
April 12th, 2016, 12:34 AM
Yes, I agree with Nymeria. :)
The books are much better than the series!

14fences
July 26th, 2017, 08:22 AM
At this point, several tv plot lines have already diverged from the books, and tv is now well past where the books left off. The books have a depth the tv series doesn't, so I recommend reading! But in the end, I agree we'll get 2 different stories between the two.

Skydiver
July 28th, 2017, 10:53 AM
I do think they will end up at the same place however, well two of the books do meander on and on and on, and more htan once you think a character has died only to have them show back up so....bad editing?

It was like GRRM couldn't figure out how to do something so he just had the characters muddle about in place for a few thousand pages.

I actually like that the show has surpassed the books. In the beginning I knew what was going to happen. I remember being more than a little amused at the outrage about the Red Wedding by those that hadn't read the books, while those of us that had knew what was going to happen. Kinda fun that way.

However, each Sunday night now I tune in and I don't know what is going to happen. THere are some scenes I can predict....which I can't go into too much detail without spoiling but, often you can tell by how the director frames the shot that something is going to happen and usually surmise 'yeah, something's going to come up behind her' etc. But beyond that, it's fun again to be guessing what will happen and see if your guesses are right instead of just waiting for already written scenes to be played out.

Sometimes I h onestly wonder if GRRM will ever really finish teh books. Or if he's just enjoying the popularity so much he doesn't care as much about putting the story down on paper.

Teddybrown
July 29th, 2017, 09:48 AM
I think its nice no one knows whats going to happen anymore