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Is There Anything On The Show That You Think Is Better Than The Books?

1,100 posts in this topic

 

The King's procession arriving at Winterfell in the first episode.

The Moon Door being in the floor instead of the wall.

Ned's encounter with Jaime in King's Landing, returning from the brothel. I don't think it was necessarily better in the show, and I prefer the book version, but I think it was the right decision for the medium.

And count me as another :thumbsdown: for Bronn. 

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24 minutes ago, Darkstream said:

 

The King's procession arriving at Winterfell in the first episode.

The Moon Door being in the floor instead of the wall.

Ned's encounter with Jaime in King's Landing, returning from the brothel. I don't think it was necessarily better in the show, and I prefer the book version, but I think it was the right decision for the medium.

And count me as another :thumbsdown: for Bronn. 

Regarding the King's procession arriving:  Yeah, that was a real feast for the eyes for book readers, all the Starks (except Jon) were there, and we were treated to the first appearances of (meaning we actually got to see) quite a few great characters (Robert, Cersei, Jaime, Tyrion, Sandor and Joffrey, if I recall correctly.  Maybe some others, too. Ilyn Payne, maybe?)

Regarding the Moon Door:  Good one, seriously.  I never gave it much thought, but yeah, it does make more sense for it to be in the floor, and makes it a lot more scare and intimidating (cuz you can see how far down it is, rather than just looking out into the air, maybe even without being able to see the height)

Regarding Jaime and Ned's fight:  You make an intersesting point about it being right for the medium, and I think I get why they did it, but I've always had a problem with that scene b/c I didn't like the "powering down" of Jaime and the "powering up" of Ned (in a nutshell, I don't believe book-Ned would last more than about 10 seconds in a fight with book-Jaime when Jaime had both hands.  I got the impression from the books that Ned wasn't all that great a fighter, maybe slightly above average, and by the time he fourght Jaime he was over the hill and out of shape on top of what, whereas Jaime was in his prime and in fighting shape as arguably the greatest fighter in single combat in all of Westeros)

Regarding Bronn:    Don't like more show-Bronn, huh? Ah, well.  I think he brings good levity and plays really well around other characters that are ultra-serious like Jaime, Brienne and Pod (I don't think Bronn and Brienne have ever directly spoken, but she's around when Pod sees Bronn again in Season 6).   I think I also like Bronn just cuz he's friends with both the Lannister brothers, so he kind of provides a link between them to me that I think is kind of cool.  Jaime and Tyrion are SO different in so many ways, yet Bronn is good friends with both of them.  Kind of cool, I think..

 

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Show vs Book really comes down to entertainment vs story for me. Both are constrained by something; the show is constrained to a maximum screen-time to create a storyline that works, and the books are constrained to the medium of words. 

For this reason there are several things I prefer in the show. It has been mentioned before but the sound effects for me are by far the most impressive think in the show. The starting credits excite me more than any other show (except maybe Dexter), the way that each character has a kind of "theme" music I think is great. For example they use Stannis' theme to portray his pragmatic and unyielding nature whereas Dany's portrays a building of power (different from the dragon music btw). You simply don't get that in a book.

I could take or leave the visual effects personally. The only time I have been particularly impressed by visuals have been tits, and the battle of castle black where the camera work was exquisite (a short bit of hardhome, too). 

 

As for characters, there are certainly a few honourable mentions:

Charles Dance's Tywin portrayal, of course.

LF is my second favourite character in the show (after the obvious Syrio) - I think someone previously mentioned the chaos/ladder scene which I also loved. 

Tyrion in the second half of S4.

Dillane's to the letter portrayal of Stannis (even though the writers changed his story a little).

The first season was particularly good as the child actors were on another level for their ages.

 

Edited by Rawrmawr

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The obvious main thing that's vastly better about the shows is pacing, unfailingly delivering a satisfying [if by no means perfect, indeed on occasion seriously flawed] installment of the story at the same time every year.

What else... character ages as already mentioned by most people, Tywin, cutting out Stoneheart or Faegon, cutting out most of the pointless flab in AFFC/ADWD, removing/merging superfluous minor characters & plotlines,...

The books at their best [installments 1-3] are unbeatable but as an overall work, given GRRM's interminable delays in writing, I marginally prefer the show.

Edited by TFP

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1 hour ago, Rawrmawr said:

The starting credits excite me more than any other show (except maybe Dexter)

 

Nothing will ever beat the frisson I got hearing that rumbling bass that opens up Alabama 3's "Woke Up This Morning" on "The Sopranos." 

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No FAegon!!!  Yeah!  For me that is the biggest one.  

I thought that Tyrion's arc was better than his arc in the ADWD about "where do whores go?"

In general, the shows permit us to see the motivations of characters like Margaery and the High Sparrow more clearly because we are getting an unbiased look at them.  However, seeing things through the perspectives of the different characters does make it easier for Martin to slip in needed background information (the TOJ or Maggy the Frog) than the show.  

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On 8/14/2016 at 6:01 PM, sweetsunray said:

George has said that he won't write a POV character being raped (as in non-consentual, whatever the age, meaning the victim explicitly saying "no").

 

Link? I have asked for people to provide evidence of this over the years and have yet to receive any.

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In my opinion there are several things the show does better than the books:

- Hardholme (obvious choice)

- Cutting most of the crap from Tyrions journey to Meereen.

- Some scenes are better visually (particuarly those in the North in early seasons which were shot in Iceland).

- Battle for the Wall I felt was done better in the show than the books.

- No Quentyn, Aerys Oakheart and some of the other seemingly pointless stuff from AFFC/ADWD.

 

Equally there are things the books do better than the show.

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They made Renly Baratheon's sigil field turqouise. I think it looked nice.

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3 hours ago, FreeParking said:

 

Link? I have asked for people to provide evidence of this over the years and have yet to receive any.

I searched and searched. George discussed rape in an New York Times article: how it's a part of war tactics throughout history, that he recognizes the rape scenes he describes are disturbing, and that some passages are meant to be disturbing. In another article he responded to the show's Jaime-Cersei rape scene in comparison to the book scene, and how he wrote the sept scene in the books from the POV of Jaime, and not Cersei's POV. While on the one hand he comments this sept scene was meant to be disturbing, that Cersei is conflicted between desire for Jaime after having not seen him for so long, and yet repulsed by his hand, he adds that exactly because it's Jaime's POV and therefore biased, he basically leaves it up to the reader to decide for hirself whether rape occurred or not.

You were correct to challenge me for a link. I could have sworn to have read such a quote once, but I could not unearth it. There was one blogger who wrote an essay on how George observably includes POV from rapists, but not rape-victims so far, even when a near victim is actually a POV (we have Brienne's POV, but the start of a gangrape attempts is seen from Jaime's POV). This blog mentions that George went on record to saying he'd never write a rape from a victim's POV, but gives no source for it.

http://www.themarysue.com/george-rr-martin-asoiaf-rape/

http://www.ew.com/article/2014/04/21/george-r-r-martin-thrones-rape

http://tafkarfanfic.tumblr.com/post/119891015455/a-song-of-ice-and-fire-has-a-rape-problem

Regardless of that, for the books I think it is unlikely to happen for a POV character this late in the story. Handling the aftermath well for the POV would require an almost entire book, especially if the POV is a captive of the rapist, just as an entire book was needed for Theon, and it's clearly not over yet. Too much needs to happen and be done by characters like Dany, Arianne, Sansa, Arya and Asha in all sorts directions of the sprawled regions to be subjected to it imo: the risk, yes, the fear for the possibility, yes. If he's going to write a rape victim POV I would expect an in depth psychological process that requires time and space to be handled responsibly imo. Literature examples would be for example Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles (raped early in the book, with child as a result, and it haunts her for the rest of the book and her life), Auel's Ayla in the Children of the Earth series (11 year old raped multiple times in book 1, with child as a result, and even at the end of book 6, a decade later, there is residual reaction and self-esteem issues over it). If he was going to write a rape story for a POV character, imo he would have done it in stage 1 act, and he had ample opportunity to do so for several characters. Time and time again he chose for it to be averted. Imo the reason is because he's doesn't want to actually write a rape-and-recovery POV arc, but a larger comment and story, and it would be a complete disservice to the character if he includes a rape experience and does not handle it properly afterwards.   

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I mentioned a lot of things previously, but the the notable thing i want to add new the show didn't include Tyrion doing a freakin' blackflip when he met Jon at the feast in the first book.

Edited by The Arthur Smith

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And let's not forget the most famous of them in this forum : the travelogue of Brienne of Tarth :D

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32 minutes ago, Future Null Infinity said:

And let's not forget the most famous of them in this forum : the travelogue of Brienne of Tarth :D

well everyone likes what one likes but show's adaptation of Brienne's travelogue was not a masterpiece (waiting for a candle)/

I like Brienne's povs but i can understand people not liking them but the show did not excel in that substitution.

Edited by Meera of Tarth

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23 minutes ago, Meera of Tarth said:

well everyone likes what one likes but show's adaptation of Brienne's travelogue was not a masterpiece (waiting for a candle)/

I like Brienne's povs but i can understand people not liking them but the show did not excel in that substitution.

I agree with you, it wasn't a masterpiece in the show, I was only speaking about the length of her search for Sansa in the books compared to the show, she found her fairly quickly in the show

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Arya meeting Tywin at Harrenhal instead of Roose was definitely an improvement.

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On 8/15/2016 at 10:56 AM, Lurid Jester said:

Aging up the characters. 

Tywin & Arya

Bronn

So pretty much agreeing with the majority of the posts here. ;)

Yeah, good stuff with the "Tywin & Arya" reference (if someone else mentioned it above, I must have missed it)

I really enjoyed those scenes a lot (probably my favorite Tywin scenes, although I love pretty much every Arya scene)

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3 minutes ago, Cron said:

Yeah, good stuff with the "Tywin & Arya" reference (if someone else mentioned it above, I must have missed it)

I really enjoyed those scenes a lot (probably my favorite Tywin scenes, although I love pretty much every Arya scene)

I actually didn't like any of Arya's chapters in the book. They just seemed way too implausible because of her age.  

With her casting, aging up of the character, and the aging of the actress over the last six seasons I'm able to enjoy her chapters.  

I Think this is the first time a movie/tv adaptation actually increased my enjoyment of the source material.  

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8 hours ago, Meera of Tarth said:

well everyone likes what one likes but show's adaptation of Brienne's travelogue was not a masterpiece (waiting for a candle)/

I like Brienne's povs but i can understand people not liking them but the show did not excel in that substitution.

I loved all of Brienne's POV chapters in the book(s).

Indeed, she may be one of my top 5 favorite characters (certainly top 7 or so).

She's a CLASSIC questing knight of high honor and integrity, arguably the "purest good" character in the entire series.  She's incredibly loyal, and her backstory makes her very interesting and sympathetic to me.

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