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Is it easier to enjoy the show if you have not read the books?

33 posts in this topic

I watched the first two seasons before reading the books. I enjoyed them, but was often confused about what was going on. So reading the books gave me context. Only once you`ve read the books, then you may get confused by things that differ from the books. I`m not sure reading the books has really made the last few seasons less enjoyable (it`s still enjoyable, but only if I keep the fun of watching separate from what I think makes sense).

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For me definitely. I was in love with the show when I first started watching it, then after season 3 I read the books and I didn't enjoy any new seasons after that. In retrospective I still like seasons 1 and 3 but think now that season 2 was bad. 

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36 minutes ago, Dofs said:

For me definitely. I was in love with the show when I first started watching it, then after season 3 I read the books and I didn't enjoy any new seasons after that. In retrospective I still like seasons 1 and 3 but think now that season 2 was bad. 

Why do you think season 2 is bad after reading the books?

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12 minutes ago, btfu806 said:

Why do you think season 2 is bad after reading the books?

Reading the books simply removed my bias towards the show and I managed to look on season 2 more objectively. The problem with season 2 were Jon's, Dany's and Robb's storylines and I had issues with them even when I was watching season 2 for the first time, but I closed my eyes on these issues back then. Now I don't.

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22 minutes ago, Dofs said:

Reading the books simply removed my bias towards the show and I managed to look on season 2 more objectively. The problem with season 2 were Jon's, Dany's and Robb's storylines and I had issues with them even when I was watching season 2 for the first time, but I closed my eyes on these issues back then. Now I don't.

What is wrong with their story lines? I thought season 2 their story lines still made sense? Compared to the book there are differences, and I get not liking those differences, but you said you had issues with it the first time you saw it without reading the books. I am genuinely curious what you didn't like, not trying to say you're wrong or anything. I just thought people liked season 2 a lot. So when someone doesn't, it intrigues me.

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I'm a big book reader. I read the books before the show started. ADwD after S1 IIRC. I'm not sure, but I probably would not have been that much interested by the show without the books. I'm a book addict, no a TV addict. But I was always complaining about the show not faithful. Even if I understand the need to simplify and the constraints of the big/small screens, sometimes, IMHO, I feel the changes are not justified. And even if so, I'm still sorry for the changes.

Whatever. I much enjoy when I recognize something from the books in the show and ignore the rest. I was afraid of spoilers. But I'm tired of waiting TWoW and now I see show and books as different stories with the same (I hope) final purpose: The importance of loyalty and duty. The dangers of honor and glory and wanting. I don't care now if the fate of the characters will be the same or different.

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8 hours ago, btfu806 said:

What is wrong with their story lines? I thought season 2 their story lines still made sense? Compared to the book there are differences, and I get not liking those differences, but you said you had issues with it the first time you saw it without reading the books. I am genuinely curious what you didn't like, not trying to say you're wrong or anything. I just thought people liked season 2 a lot. So when someone doesn't, it intrigues me.

Well, Dany's storyline felt off once her dragons were stolen. After that happened, her storyline resembled a "villain of the week" plot from those long running shows. The resolution especially reeked of this, it made me lose immersion into Quarth. I also remember being excited after that black guy said he wants to conquer Westeros, and then going "huh, what was the point of it all" after he was disappointingly defeated. 

In Jon's storyline, Jon failing to kill Ygritte, then chasing her, then quickly getting lost, then getting captured and killing Qhorin Halfhand who was suddenly captured seemed extremely lazy to me. Like, plot demanded Jon to join the wildlings but the writers were too lazy to think through how it would happen and hence went with the easiest, quickest and laziest way to do it.

In Robb's storyline I really disliked how Talisa took all the focus from his war campaign. The war basically became a background for Robb's romance with Talisa, at some point I remember being confused where they were actually fighting, against whom ( I knew they were Lannisters in general but I wanted to know more than that) and what was Robb's actual strategy.

 

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11 hours ago, Dofs said:

Well, Dany's storyline felt off once her dragons were stolen. After that happened, her storyline resembled a "villain of the week" plot from those long running shows. The resolution especially reeked of this, it made me lose immersion into Quarth. I also remember being excited after that black guy said he wants to conquer Westeros, and then going "huh, what was the point of it all" after he was disappointingly defeated. 

In Jon's storyline, Jon failing to kill Ygritte, then chasing her, then quickly getting lost, then getting captured and killing Qhorin Halfhand who was suddenly captured seemed extremely lazy to me. Like, plot demanded Jon to join the wildlings but the writers were too lazy to think through how it would happen and hence went with the easiest, quickest and laziest way to do it.

In Robb's storyline I really disliked how Talisa took all the focus from his war campaign. The war basically became a background for Robb's romance with Talisa, at some point I remember being confused where they were actually fighting, against whom ( I knew they were Lannisters in general but I wanted to know more than that) and what was Robb's actual strategy.

 

Huh, very interesting and totally get that. I was annoyed as well with the shows decision for Dany's dragons to be stolen as well and the whole killing of the thirteen. I get it makes it more interesting, but it changes Dany fundamentally. 

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I watched GoT first. I had never heard of ASOIAF before. Through some friend of mine and via the internet I heard of this show, that all were praising and I gave it a try. Then I watched season one in one day. After the third season I decided to give the books a try and read them over the summer between season 3 and 4. The first three books were really good, but they bored me still, because they were exactly the same thing I already saw on TV. Even the dialogues of the first Book were taken one on one in the first season. But still, I thought they were great books to read. Book four (AffC) was terrible for many reasons.I would have never read it, if it were a stand-alone book. It is badly written, the story could be a spinn-off of the series, and also the introduction of newly characters just to blow out the story. This book is the reason why GRRM takes so long now. The series after this book is rather a mess, with no direction and just complexity for the sake of complexity. Book five suffers from this very much.  

I would allways recomand someone to watch the show first, and then start reading the books. Since this is a forum for book fans mainly, it is understandable that some might beg to differ here. But in general, the books are here rather overrated, which is normal, considering that this is a fan community. 

 

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If somebody isn’t clever enough to figure out that any tv show simply can’t recreate word for word what’s on the pages of any book series baffles me - I think it’s incredible how much HBO has put into GoT - and enjoy both even having read the books years ago...

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On 26.12.2017 at 10:20 PM, Wyl of Wyl said:

If somebody isn’t clever enough to figure out that any tv show simply can’t recreate word for word what’s on the pages of any book series baffles me - I think it’s incredible how much HBO has put into GoT - and enjoy both even having read the books years ago...

Every book community has theese people unfortunatly. The answer is often rather simple: they don't know the difference between the two products. In specific they know shit about the art of  cinema or in this case television. It is pointless to talk with them. It is like trying to convince someone about the greatness of Picasso who insists that Picasso was a bad painter because the portraits don't look like real people. 

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As for someone who has been heartbroken too many times with the massive changes on novel-based films/tv-series, I'd say yes. HOWEVER, Game of Thrones was an exception. Even though there were A LOT of plot differences, I still enjoyed the show on a whole different level. I don't know what sorcery David and Dan used but the show is still interesting to watch even if you're the biggest ASOIAF fan.

 

BUT PLEASE.. READ. THE. DAMN. BOOKS.

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I read the books first years ago. I liked the first three books, but AFFC and ADWD were a disappointment as the plot started to meander and GRRM sent his POV characters where he wanted to put in some plot-bunny he found interesting. Especially Brienne's and Theon's POV chapters have moments that made me cringe. I was so disappointed in them that I decided to not touch these books again unless a published version of the final novel in the series was available for sale. Which I did not expect to see in my life time and still don't.

The TV show got me hooked on the story again. I wouldn't have reread the novels without it. I had read the short stories and AWOIAF in the meantime as well as background info and theories on the internet and I quite enjoyed the nuggets and diversions in the novels on the rereads - which I did slow and at leisure. I consider ASOIAF as a huge patchwork of fake history set in a more or less coherent fictional world. As such, the novels are enjoyable. As a novel series, they suffer from the huge amount of plot-lines - especially those that were obviously added after the first three books were already written - and the many additions that another author might have put into short stories instead of the main novels.

As I suspect that GRRM has lost focus and or interest in the main story, I am happy to get an ending via the TV show. If the WoW are published in my lifetime, I'll certainly buy it now and read it with interest. I'd really like to see how the many cliffhangers get resolved in the novels and how the characters and the story are developed, but as we are more likely to get another couple of novellas set in the history of the Targaryens instead of the future, I have accepted that it won't happen. It's GRRM'S world, he can do with it whatever he likes.

The TV show has good and bad moments, the first seasons are certainly better than the later ones. I attribute this to the fact that they don't have the novels to draw from as well, but I find it unfair to blame the show-writers for this. Many of the changes they made in the earlier seasons were necessary and well done. I believe they would have made a good adaptation of the later novels too. Or maybe finished the story on their own in a satisfactory way. To adapt a novel that is not written with bits of information about what is supposed to happen from the author is a recipe for desaster, however, and as far as desasters go, they could have done worse.;)

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