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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Are the books as good as the HBO series?

    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.

  2. #22
    Major Lunaeclipse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are the books as good as the HBO series?

    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...


    Facebook post about Alexis Cruz and the Audiobook he's done. If you're a fan of Alexis and his work - you'll love it. Book 1 and 2 are there now. The second one is brilliant, but I can't vouch for the first one (not having heard it), but I'm sure it's just as good, if not better.


    "I'm not gonna eat it - that's disgusting... I'm gonna wear it as a worm-stache." - Misha Collins (Supernatural Season 6 Gag Reel)
    "Becker, it leads to the Victorian Era. What do you think is going to come through, an Oliver-Twist-Asaurus?" - Connor - Primeval.

    Alexis Cruz - Facebook. (insert Klorel/Skaara icon here...) and ThunkThread ~ The Unprofessionals page for updates. ~
    a game for Teal'c fans ~ Skaara/Klorel disscussion ~ Character Connection Game ~ "Beyond Redemption"...

  3. #23
    Staff Sergeant Smooth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are the books as good as the HBO series?

    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.

  4. #24
    First Lieutenant The Lady Blue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are the books as good as the HBO series?

    ^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,
    Spoiler:
    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.

  5. #25
    Lieutenant Colonel JadedWraith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are the books as good as the HBO series?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skydiver View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skydiver View Post

    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.
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  6. #26
    Major Lunaeclipse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are the books as good as the HBO series?

    ...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...


    Facebook post about Alexis Cruz and the Audiobook he's done. If you're a fan of Alexis and his work - you'll love it. Book 1 and 2 are there now. The second one is brilliant, but I can't vouch for the first one (not having heard it), but I'm sure it's just as good, if not better.


    "I'm not gonna eat it - that's disgusting... I'm gonna wear it as a worm-stache." - Misha Collins (Supernatural Season 6 Gag Reel)
    "Becker, it leads to the Victorian Era. What do you think is going to come through, an Oliver-Twist-Asaurus?" - Connor - Primeval.

    Alexis Cruz - Facebook. (insert Klorel/Skaara icon here...) and ThunkThread ~ The Unprofessionals page for updates. ~
    a game for Teal'c fans ~ Skaara/Klorel disscussion ~ Character Connection Game ~ "Beyond Redemption"...

  7. #27

    Default Re: Are the books as good as the HBO series?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lunaeclipse View Post
    ...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.

  8. #28
    Lieutenant General poundpuppy29's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are the books as good as the HBO series?

    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?

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  9. #29
    You call that a glowstick?
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    Skydiver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are the books as good as the HBO series?

    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.

  10. #30
    Major Lunaeclipse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are the books as good as the HBO series?

    Quote Originally Posted by magictrick View Post
    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...


    Facebook post about Alexis Cruz and the Audiobook he's done. If you're a fan of Alexis and his work - you'll love it. Book 1 and 2 are there now. The second one is brilliant, but I can't vouch for the first one (not having heard it), but I'm sure it's just as good, if not better.


    "I'm not gonna eat it - that's disgusting... I'm gonna wear it as a worm-stache." - Misha Collins (Supernatural Season 6 Gag Reel)
    "Becker, it leads to the Victorian Era. What do you think is going to come through, an Oliver-Twist-Asaurus?" - Connor - Primeval.

    Alexis Cruz - Facebook. (insert Klorel/Skaara icon here...) and ThunkThread ~ The Unprofessionals page for updates. ~
    a game for Teal'c fans ~ Skaara/Klorel disscussion ~ Character Connection Game ~ "Beyond Redemption"...

  11. #31

    Default Re: Are the books as good as the HBO series?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lunaeclipse View Post
    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.

  12. #32
    You call that a glowstick?
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    Default Re: Are the books as good as the HBO series?

    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.

    Spoiler:
    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.

  13. #33
    First Lieutenant The Lady Blue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are the books as good as the HBO series?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skydiver View Post
    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.

    Spoiler:
    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
    Spoiler:
    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.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Are the books as good as the HBO series?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Lady Blue View Post
    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
    Spoiler:
    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.

  15. #35
    Major fumblesmcstupid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are the books as good as the HBO series?

    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.
    Why did you do such a thing, you mediocre dunces?

  16. #36
    You call that a glowstick?
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    Default Re: Are the books as good as the HBO series?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Lady Blue View Post
    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
    Spoiler:
    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
    Spoiler:

    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
    Spoiler:
    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

  17. #37

    Default Re: Are the books as good as the HBO series?

    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.

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Are the books as good as the HBO series?

    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.

  19. #39
    Major General Cold Fuzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are the books as good as the HBO series?

    Quote Originally Posted by magictrick View Post
    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.


  20. #40
    Lieutenant General poundpuppy29's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are the books as good as the HBO series?

    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

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