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Drezin

Your Mental Image of Characters

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I have one large worry about watching the HBO series, and it isn't changes made to the story. Film (or television) and novels are two different mediums, and concessions must be made to suit one or the other. What worries me lies more on a personal level.

Right now, I have all the characters images firmly set in place in my mind. Jon looks a certain way, Tyrion looks a certain way, etc. I wonder, though, if these will change once the series comes out on HBO. It's already happened before for books-made-into-movies. I read the book first, and if I re-read after the movie comes out, I can't not picture the movie character, even if the book describes him differently.

I really hope this doesn't happen for ASoIaF. Unfortunately, it already has for one character, and that is Ned, but only because he looks so close to how I already pictured him. These characters are so engrained in my mind, though, I think I might be able to hold on to my mind's image. Hopefully.

I know my ideas of what the scenery looks like will change, and this is okay--so far, it looks like the TV series has made it cooler looking than my mind imagined, lol.

What do you think? Will the TV series change your perceptions of the series, be it characters or setting?

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Already has, though I didn't have very good idea of what they looked like to begin with.

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Much of the cast (except for maybe Osha and Lysa and one or two others) is so close to how I pictured them that I don't see it as a problem. Even if they weren't - it never bothered me to have my mental images replaced by actors in adaptations.

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Because of the reason described in OP (it does not concern only the character images but also images of places, items, etc.) I decided not to watch the tv series at all. TV screen is powerfull and it would wipe out my images of things out for sure. And I dont want it to happen, because I find my brain's version of ASOIAF far better. I realised that watching trailers, was going to order HBO and changed my mind looking at HBO's Cersei and Jaime's armour :P

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When I'm reading ASoIaF, I already see Sean Bean as Eddard, Kit Harrington as Jon, Lena Headey as Cersei, etc. I, personally, like that I can now picture them like that.

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Liam Neeson will always be Ned in my head, no matter how good Bean does. :3

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I think I'm lucky from this point of view. I started reading the saga because I'd heard of the TV series, therefore some characters already looked in my mind like the actors playing them (Ned, Jorah). I also was very influenced by the tons of artwork I found on the Net; especially Amok's (who has the best Blackfish I've ever seen, one of the reasons for my obsession. :P )

Even so, I'm lucky also because I manage to keep different images of the same character separate in my mind. It worked for Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter; my original idea of Aragorn, Sirius etc is firm in my mind, side by side with the movie version. But I guess it's because I'm just weird.

Sometimes the movie or TV version is brilliant because it gives me an idea of characters I hadn't visualized precisely, such as Sansa or Arya in our case.

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As great as I think the cast is, I still have a distinct image of certain characters in my head that will remain there, despite the show. I'm actually pretty okay on separating the books from the television show to some extent (as I did with LOTR).

So, it's not a huge problem, I guess?

I think the only character that is exactly how I pictured her is Arya.

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I almost never form mental pictures of how characters look, for some reason, or at least not at any sort of conscious level that I can ever articulate or transform into fan art or similar. Only very very vague instinctive outlines. This is part of the reason why re-reading is something I do frequently; I read so quickly, absorbing so fast, that I usually miss a lot of details, such as Pate/the alchemist being the same as Jaqen H'gar and the like. :blushing:

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When the actor matches up closely when how I imagined the character being, then I imagine the actor. If I didn't have a distinct idea, then the actor usually takes over too. If I developed a strong picture of a character, and the actor differs from it significantly then I just carry both images in my head, and still favor the book one when reading the books. If you don't like some of the image choices like the armor HBO's made, then I don't really understand why that can't just be ignored and tossed aside when you're reading the books.

For me the main ones that I'll ignore when rereading the books:

Tyrion - I love what I've seen of Dinklage so far, but the character described in the books is so much uglier, that Dinklage is not going to be able to replace that image for me.

Daenerys - I'm impressed with the actress they chose for her, and I think she'll do a fine job, but there are definitely differences in the characters and I have a pretty firm image in my head that's not going away.

Dothraki - The look HBO has selected for them doesn't fit how I imagined them at all, and I'll easily ignore this when rereading the books.

Illyrio - A shame the first actor had to back out because he was really perfect, and understandably HBO wasn't able to find a perfect match to replace him, so I don't blame them, but the current actor is not going to be the one I picture.

Rodrik - Nothing against the actor they chose, but I just had a distinctly different image is all.

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For me, Tyrion is the biggest problem, and probably the mental image I'll be able to hold on to the most. Don't get me wrong, I think Dinklage will do great, he just isn't nearly as ugly, as someone mentioned. Dany is also a lot different, just due to age.

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My biggest problems are Jon and Robb, mainly because in the TV show they are older....

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My mental casting had Liam Neeson as Ned Stark and David Anders as Jaime Lannister; everyone else was pretty fuzzy. I'm not unhappy with who they wound up casting, though my mental Jaime flatly refuses to fit NCW's look!

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When the actor matches up closely when how I imagined the character being, then I imagine the actor. If I didn't have a distinct idea, then the actor usually takes over too. If I developed a strong picture of a character, and the actor differs from it significantly then I just carry both images in my head, and still favor the book one when reading the books.

Basically the same case for me.

To use Lord of the Rings as an example, I never had a distinct idea of Aragorn or Arwen, so they have become the actors in my mind. Eoywn and Gandalf were so close to how I imagined them that it's more like filling in the blanks then replacement.

Frodo, Boromir, and Faramir however I imagined much differently and so I now have both in my head.

The one exception to this is Samwise. Sean Astin did such an amazing job as Samwise, that his Sam ended up merging with the Sam in my head from the books. I don't mind though, since Sean's Sam is even better than the one I used to have in my head.

I can already tell that Edward won't be replaced. Nor probably Jon. Sansa might, and Arya is so close to my mental image that it will be fine.

Littlefinger might be another Samwise for me though. I thought I had Littlefinger in my head already, but man, this HBO one is pretty amazing from the clips I've seen so far.

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Well, often when reading books my mental images are flat-out wrong, so I don't really mind.

Other differences will keep me from actually watching the show though.

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Other differences will keep me from actually watching the show though.

Like what?

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I always thought Tyrion's ugliness at least before

he gets his nose cut off, etc.

was probably more due to his being a dwarf in a culture that saw physical difference as anathema (I'm extrapolating from stuff I've read about medieval Europe.) So his "ugliness" was perhaps an artifact of people recoiling from someone who was different and not actually taking the trouble to look at or get to know Tyrion for himself. (Also, I've always wondered why Jaime had such a different reaction to Tyrion and relationship with Tyrion than his father and sister did; did he just care less about looks than Cersei and Tywin or what?)

I definitely have a problem with having book characters as I imagined them be replaced by film characters. Once I have seen the film (and it's good), that's it - the film characters/tv characters BECOME those people for me. So Boromir is blond and green-eyed like Sean Bean and Frodo is beautifully weeping one single perfect tear from his limpid blue eyes forever more (even though he's a middle-aged hobbit in the books!) As soon as the casting was announced for "Game of Thrones", that was it for me, everyone in the books I now visualize as the characters from the TV series (but that's OK, because I find the casting to be so spot on for the characters I like the most.)

Luckily for me, this sort of thing only happens with good adaptations so Kristin Kreuk is not and never will be the Tenar I see in my head, and the less said about Ged the better (and the same goes for "The Dark Is Rising" in terms of not visualizing any of those characters as the people in Susan Cooper's book!)

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No. Almost none of the characters are at all like I imagined them or indeed how they are described in the books, so they aren't going to replace my mental images. Just as LoTR's didn't apart from maybe Gandalf, who was really close to my idea of him. Won't stop me enjoying the series as long as it is well-acted though.

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I may have stated it before - it doesn't really matter how they look (and they tried to make them as close to the descriptions as possible). The important thing is the character, that is what the books are built around and that is what I'll demand from the actors. So far I like what I've seen.

As there is some difficulty building mental images for many characters in the books (very few descriptions of their looks across thousands of pages) I think that HBO might actually help me enjoy the books more as I'll have a template.

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No, I don't think that the show will change my mental pictures. Absolutely nothing so far looks like I imagine it anyway, so I have set up a distinct division between the show and the books - there is the show's look and there is my imagination's look. I keep them separate in my head.

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