A Game of Thrones Discussion, But it’s NOT What You Think!
Before I even type another word, let me assure you there are NO SPOILERS from this past week’s Game of Thrones. In fact, I don’t really even want to talk about the episode specifically, because really it is one to be watched and experienced; especially with no previous knowledge of storyline. Just go, sit and watch. Then come back and we can talk about it until you are blue in the face. But for now, what I want to talk about, is expectations.
I am a book reader. I love to read, especially Stephen King. I like Dean Koontz well enough, but there is something very haunting, yet truthful, about the majority of King’s work that moves me. Now, having said that, whenever something he writes gets put into motion to be experienced on the big or small screen, I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach. This anxious kind of excitement that only my love and desire of good storytelling can generate. I chew off my husbands ears with the preliminary proclamations that there is NO WAY it will be as good as the book, or HOW could they ever fit all of this into a 2 hour movie?? (Well, if its a King story, try a 3-4 hour movie easy). It’s something, as a constant reader, that I cannot help but do. So, I can only imagine how avid readers of the Game of Thrones series of novels had been feeling this entire series so far; up to, and including, this week’s festivities.
I truly have to give these comparison readers credit. By comparison readers, I mean those that read and watch, compare and contrast the two mediums with a hawk-like eye on the details. Usually, of course there are exceptions, but generally, these are the types that will then head to the closest message board and blast or praise what they saw, spoilers be damned. Unless I just didn’t look in the right place, I didn’t see one post from these “comparsioners” that gave away the events that happened this past week. Not once did I see a post that said anything like “…yeah, well, JUST WAIT. Because in about two episodes THIS is gonna happen…” Game of Thrones readers kept this secret hidden and hidden well, doing their best to not give it away for those of us that don’t read the books. Those of us naive people who believe certain characters always have and always will be “safe”. Not that this show really had a great track record for that. The loss of King Robert and Ned Stark in season one still leaves my head scratching, but the enormity of the events of this week, and what is to come was MIND BLOWING for me. As a storyteller, as a story-watcher and as a TV Junkie – my world was rocked. Even now, and regardless of my opening statement, I want nothing more than to dive into details and endlessly discuss the possibilities of what is to come. And the thing is, if I REALLY wanted to know, I could just go and pick up the books right? No. Not me. I started this show with no knowledge of the story. And for someone who reads like I do, it is a bit of a struggle not to go grab A Storm of Swords and dive in. But, after what I experienced Sunday night; after the raw emotion and nervous energy I felt while watching ALL the events unfold, I know I have to remain an unknowing part and just watch. Because regardless of the inconsistencies between book plot and TV plot, I am still reeling. Two days later, and I am still thinking about it, projecting possible outcomes, and, yes, even still feeling a pull at my heart for certain characters. God do I want to dive in deeper, but I will refrain. At least until after the finale. After that, I make no promises.
I guess in the end you have to ask yourself, does it really matter if they are similar or not? What they are putting on my TV every Sunday is amazing, heartbreaking, enticing, entrancing and exciting. So who gives a shit if it follows the book exactly? Extracting those kind of emotions from your audience is what its all about, right? Regardless of the medium it is delivered in stories like this are why I open a book, turn on the TV or hand over hard earned cash to sit a crowded theater and eat stale popcorn. To be transfixed and transported to a whole new world where I can wrap myself up in the story, feel what the characters feel and experience what they do.
I would like to thank any readers of the books for keeping that “exchange” to yourselves. You have great will power to not spoil it for the rest of us. That is a quality I greatly appreciate.
So, how about you? Are you a reader/watcher? Or do you just enjoy the ride regardless of the medium? Comment below, but please, by the Old Gods and the New… NO SPOILERS.