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BananaSpice

[Book Spoilers] Do you think the show still stands on its own?

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I was discussing this with someone after the second episode, and we were realizing how confusing this show has become for non-readers. It's almost becoming merely something to accompany the books, so that fans can see their favorite characters/events unfold on screen. I kind of feel like this happened with the Harry Potter books ... like, I can't imagine non-readers fully understanding or appreciating the later movies w/o having read the books.

Do you think Game of Thrones is heading down this path? Or is it already there? Or do people not care and simply follow for their favorite characters no matter how confused they are? :cool4:

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I think it does. The problem is that this isn't a show to watch casually. It demands a lot of attention from the viewer and each episode should be rewatched several times. Check the TWOP forums if you don't believe me. You can see a lot of non-readers understanding the show completely and even making very good predictions.

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You know, it's kinda funny, but I actually think that show only people (at least the ones who watch closely) enjoy the show more than book readers do. They might not catch all the little name drops, and occasional historical references, like book readers do. But on average they still have more fun watching.

In short, yes, the show stands on its own just fine IMO.

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I think its kind of a silly question at this point in the story. Thats like putting ACOK down after HOTU and complaing that the book doesn't make sense. Not everything is explained right away and frankly it isn't hard to follow. The only thing that has been messed up in a HUH?!? way is the opening of this season.

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I think the answer is definitely yes, the show stands on its own just fine (and there are more people who watch the show than read the books, and it is still very successful). You could easily say the same thing with the books. "Does A Feast for Crows stand on its own without having read the first three books?"

If you've watched all the way through, you're fine. If you start in the middle you obviously won't know exactly what's going on, but you'll figure out the general idea enough to enjoy the episode (and will hopefully want to go back and watch the others - this happened to me with Mad Men).

Some people obviously aren't going to be able to figure it out even if they've watched all the way through, but MOST people I feel are smart enough to appreciate it. Give people a little credit!

EDIT: I said no instead of yes by mistake.

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I do agree. The show follows the plot of the entire book series not book per book series. It may be confusing to non-bookreaders for they may not see the connection of one scene from the other without knowing the bird's eye view from the books. Anyhow, changes are expected from the show because yeah, it still stands on its own

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I've talked to many people on many forums who purposefully CHOSE not to read the books, but instead watch the show and that alone.

This is hilarious to me because a lot of it is like "wah I don't have time to read books"... but you have time to watch over 20 hours of a television show? Most likely twice, since EVERYONE has watched Game of Thrones through at least twice? "Wah, I don't want the books to ruin the show for me" ...that'd be like not listening to an original song, because you like the cover version by a different band. Wut. "I don't like fantasy / I have better things to be reading / yadada", but you like the show? If anything, the show is much more unrealistic and obviously set in a fantasy than MOST of the books.

This is just my opinion though. I've also met plenty of people who hated the show because of the stupidest reasons, Too many characters, I HATE NUDITY, too much talking, terrible pacing and too much emphasis on cliffhangers and plot twists, etc. These reasons are all valid, I suppose, to not liking the show. *shrug*

The fact of the matter is, i'm sure more people have WATCHED the first season of Game of Thrones(whether on DVD/Blu-ray, on TV or on the internet) than the collective total of sales between all five books. I can't back this up or anything, but it really wouldn't surprise me.

So does it stand on it's own as a really popular show? Yes. Does it stand out on it's own and make total sense to near everyone who didn't read the books? No, I don't think so, i've found that MOST nonbook readers tend to ask me or the internet a lot of questions that aren't made clear in the show.

Hell, I showed someone the entire first episode and he didn't even realize that Cersei and Jaime were siblings at the end - NOR why it was a big enough deal(cesting up the queen) to warrant pushing a kid out a window, OR the possible implications that the Queen's children are all bastards. Of course, this is just one silly example that comes to my mind, but i've heard horror stories. Most recently, people thinking Robb/Bolton/Karstark were at the ruins of Winterfell and that the boat scenes Dany was on obviously meant she had landed in Westeros. Wtf.

Of course, even people who aren't morons get confused sometimes. My mother kept forgetting that Lysa Arryn was Cat's sister(and thus being confused WHY Cat brought Tyrion to the Eyrie), i've had to explain to a roommate that Rhaegar WAS NEVER a king but the Mad King's first prince who died, etc.

I think, as a whole, we won't REALLY know if the show stands on it's own until it's absolutely finished. That way we can measure all the plot progression, foreshadowing, character development, etc. without any book bias(okay, less book bias) and that way we can also look at every question, reference or statement made and see if it makes sense or not in a totally show-only-no-friends-or-books-or-internet-helping way.

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No, The show does not stand on its own like other shows. I am a non reader, and without rewartching, wiki cliffnotes, and reading the book 1 and a small part of book 2, I'd be lost. There are just too many things happening and too many characters.

That said, I feel the shows is starting to crumble. So it may not stand at all.

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No, The show does not stand on its own like other shows. I am a non reader, and without rewartching, wiki cliffnotes, and reading the book 1 and a small part of book 2, I'd be lost. There are just too many things happening and too many characters.

That said, I feel the shows is starting to crumble. So it may not stand at all.

Yeah, honestly. Everyone has been saying that book readers were just so amazed by season one that they were butthurt with all the plot destruction in season two, all the character shallowing, all the action omitting, all the shitty pacing, etc. because it was an obvious step down.

I watched season two with my room mates as it aired every week, and they never read the books AND LOVED the first season. They all were very disappointed with season two. All three of them hated how much of a waste of time Jon/Sam, Dany/Qarth, everything Bran-not-with-Theon and Robb-marching-on-to-nowhere was. The only parts that they really enjoyed was the hype up FOR the blackwater battle(but not the battle itself, because they couldn't deal with the stupidity of the lack of helmets/shields, Stannis leading the charge, Tyrion's terrible battle plan, etc.) and... interestingly enough, everything Theon. Actually, I think without Theon and some of Tyrion's snappy lines, all three of my room mates would've simply given up after season two.

Oh, they also liked Arya too, until the Jaqen plot. They were so pissed when she literally did nothing the entire time at Harrenhall.

But anyway, my original point is, a lot of people who watch the show and don't even read the books, seem in love with certain characters. (Always Tyrion, Dany, Jon Snow and Arya) And keep watching for specific characters/actors and not the show itself.

I remember the internets were ablaze with "I CALL BULLSHIT" after Renly's death. So I think this show is still standing on hype(the GAME OF THRONES IS AWESOME hype) combined with EVERYONE being in denial about season two's quality, and the fanfavorite actors/characters alone. I expect this season will be the determining season of whether the show TRULY stands or not, even if season 4 has already been confirmed and whatnot.

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Absolutely.

Despite the constant bitching and moaning that so many people enjoy partaking in, the show is amazing. I read the books after season 2 and having read the books it adds a whole new depth to the show. I admit that the show develops the characters rather slowly and that may be the only valid beef I can see people having. Also yes in comparsion to ACOK and season 1 I think season 2 left a bit to be desired...

But the third seasons of TV series are usually the defining ones (Wire, Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Walking Dead) and I think this will be the case as well.

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Absolutely.

Despite the constant bitching and moaning that so many people enjoy partaking in, the show is amazing. I read the books after season 2 and having read the books it adds a whole new depth to the show. I admit that the show develops the characters rather slowly and that may be the only valid beef I can see people having. Also yes in comparsion to ACOK and season 1 I think season 2 left a bit to be desired...

But the third seasons of TV series are usually the defining ones (Wire, Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Walking Dead) and I think this will be the case as well.

High five! It's always nice to meet people here who feel the same way I do and aren't always whining about how the show sucks because it's ruining the books.

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Millions who have never read the books are watching it, and enjoying it, so I would say yes, the show definitely stands on its own.

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I watched season two with my room mates as it aired every week, and they never read the books AND LOVED the first season. They all were very disappointed with season two. All three of them hated how much of a waste of time Jon/Sam, Dany/Qarth, everything Bran-not-with-Theon and Robb-marching-on-to-nowhere was. The only parts that they really enjoyed was the hype up FOR the blackwater battle(but not the battle itself, because they couldn't deal with the stupidity of the lack of helmets/shields, Stannis leading the charge, Tyrion's terrible battle plan, etc.) and... interestingly enough, everything Theon. Actually, I think without Theon and some of Tyrion's snappy lines, all three of my room mates would've simply given up after season two.

Very good points. I was going to write something along those lines, but changed my mind on prevoius post.

I feel the same way. Book readers are fanatics. I on the other hand want to see drama. Drama imo was the "game of the throne"--Lannisters v Starks v whoever else. I feel the Bran and Daenerys plots are a waste of my time, and Theon in a large part as well. Stannis plot is just stupid.

But back to the drama, right now everything is blown up in Westeros. The tie that binds the plot is Sansa being held by Lannisters at King's Landing, Jaime/Briene Dichotomy (part of lannister/Starks game). The conenctions are blown up, and there are very few ties that bind the drama plot. The show is crumbling.

Now for fanatics who like to watch bizarre and irrelevant plots, the show will be great.

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Yeah, honestly. Everyone has been saying that book readers were just so amazed by season one that they were butthurt with all the plot destruction in season two, all the character shallowing, all the action omitting, all the shitty pacing, etc. because it was an obvious step down.

I watched season two with my room mates as it aired every week, and they never read the books AND LOVED the first season. They all were very disappointed with season two. All three of them hated how much of a waste of time Jon/Sam, Dany/Qarth, everything Bran-not-with-Theon and Robb-marching-on-to-nowhere was. The only parts that they really enjoyed was the hype up FOR the blackwater battle(but not the battle itself, because they couldn't deal with the stupidity of the lack of helmets/shields, Stannis leading the charge, Tyrion's terrible battle plan, etc.) and... interestingly enough, everything Theon. Actually, I think without Theon and some of Tyrion's snappy lines, all three of my room mates would've simply given up after season two.

Oh, they also liked Arya too, until the Jaqen plot. They were so pissed when she literally did nothing the entire time at Harrenhall.

But anyway, my original point is, a lot of people who watch the show and don't even read the books, seem in love with certain characters. (Always Tyrion, Dany, Jon Snow and Arya) And keep watching for specific characters/actors and not the show itself.

I remember the internets were ablaze with "I CALL BULLSHIT" after Renly's death. So I think this show is still standing on hype(the GAME OF THRONES IS AWESOME hype) combined with EVERYONE being in denial about season two's quality, and the fanfavorite actors/characters alone. I expect this season will be the determining season of whether the show TRULY stands or not, even if season 4 has already been confirmed and whatnot.

You seem to have misunderstood the thread.

This about whether or not the show stands as its own entity, without needing the knowledge provided by the books, not how good you think Season 2 was.

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Kevan, my point about season two was entirely relevant. Too many plots, not clear on who is where or who is on what's side, not answering questions, teasing the audience(I'll tell you about my balls another time), soap opera romance that no one is watching the show for, etc.

You'd be hard pressed, IMO, to find a nonreader who WATCHES and understands the show and DOESN'T use the internet or talk to friends about it to figure things out. Every nonbook watcher is confused or mistaken about something major, it seems, and not in a intentional-mystery sort of way.

When everything piles up and up, and there's no real clarification for most things, the show will fall apart. There's a reason why Lost was so fucking popular at the start, then everyone began despising the show in the last two or three seasons. (Lost, being probably THE most influential and important television show of the 00-09 decade IMO, is perfectly relevant to this thread as it was another MAJOR show which influenced everyone, had shitloads of characters and plots, loads of backstory which only some of was revealed, etc.)

EDIT TO ADD: Also, the lack of any real flow to episodes(trying to bunch in as much plot as possible, rather than bursts of specific characters), the show's seeming obsession with ending every episode with a twist/cliffhanger and the show's terrible way of wrapping up the season two finale in a way that felt... well, like a finale? It comes off as sloppy. Most major TV shows, when it's a finale, you fucking know it. Hell, even the season one finale was clearly a finale - and it was largely just resolutions.

It won't be until the end of season three when we really know, I think. Because as other users have mentioned, there are many shows which have great first and third seasons, but have second seasons that definitely suffer from major "growing pains."

And also, we won't know until Red Wedding whether or not the fans of the show REALLY want to be fans of this show any longer or not. Ha.

Very good points. I was going to write something along those lines, but changed my mind on prevoius post.

I feel the same way. Book readers are fanatics. I on the other hand want to see drama. Drama imo was the "game of the throne"--Lannisters v Starks v whoever else. I feel the Bran and Daenerys plots are a waste of my time, and Theon in a large part as well. Stannis plot is just stupid.

But back to the drama, right now everything is blown up in Westeros. The tie that binds the plot is Sansa being held by Lannisters at King's Landing, Jaime/Briene Dichotomy (part of lannister/Starks game). The conenctions are blown up, and there are very few ties that bind the drama plot. The show is crumbling.

Now for fanatics who like to watch bizarre and irrelevant plots, the show will be great.

Ha. Well, in the books, hardly any plots are stupid. There are a few LITTLE creative choices that make me question GRRM at times, but when it comes to actual plots? There's definitely lots to be had, everything is meaningful, Stannis is VERY relevant, etc.

But in the show it doesn't come off this way. You said you read the first book and part of the second book? Honestly, I highly recommend finishing the second book. The way everything comes together is just so gorgeous. Except Jon and Dany, who are both mainly just character-and-world building in the second book. (But they hardly have any chapters in the second book anyway)

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I'll simply point you to Game of Throne's IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0944947/?ref_=sr_1. What we have there is a rating of 9.4/10 from more than 300,000 users. I'd be willing to bet that less than 1/3rd of those users have read the books.

Now, on to my point. I'm well aware that IMDB isn't exactly the best resource to see a shows popularity, but the fact remains that a rating of 9.4 is somewhat of a rarity reserved for top-tier shows like The Wire, Breaking Bad and yes, Game of Thrones. To suggest a show with that rating doesn't stand on its own is nothing more than ridiculous. In fact, after an all to brief search, the only higher rated shows I found were Band of Brothers (9.6) and Planet Earth (9.5), both of which were mini-series with gigantic budgets and high-profile producers.

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The show obviously stands on it own, but I do think that most non-readers miss out on a lot of stuff happening in the show, and not all because of not having read the books. Might be that my friends are surprisingly stupid, but I always find myself pausing the show to explain certain events/characters/etc at least five times per episode; important stuff that probably pass my friends right by when watching alone.

On the other hand, I think maybe 80% of these questions could be answered by a rewatch of the previous seasons..

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Sometimes I think that as people who have read the books, we expect that people who have not read the books won't understand it. Because it is really complicated. Because it has all of this history you have to understand. Because... Because... Because.

The problem is more that we feel like we have some sort of ownership of the show BECAUSE we have read the books. The TV-show people are the 'lesser mortals' who could never understand.

I'm guilty of book snobbery, particularly with my partner - its ok to be mean to him ;) - but it doesn't mean he doesn't understand the show.

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