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BananaSpice

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

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I guess this depends on what you mean. Just getting through the book and having grasped the overall story likely isn't that hard for most people (you do hear from people that stop reading because there's too many characters from time to time though). Then again I don't know if there are that many books where it's hard to get through it if you don't feel the need to get the symbolism or other complexities.

To know all the characters, to have gotten and understood all subtle hints regarding mysteries, prophecies etc and so on is pretty hard though and unless you did all that on your first read, on your own, then I wouldn't go saying that it's not demanding. Can you say you've really gotten the books without getting all of that? Without getting Jon's parentage while reading the first time, without seeing how Mirri Maz Duur's words seemingly have gone from elaborate description to perhaps involuntary prophecy as soon as it started to come true etc. I don't know if you can say that (and tons of people don't get that right away, most not even until they start discussing the books).

Perhaps you can say that if you have any ambition as a reader it gets more demanding.

There are tons of them.

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Of course the show stands on it's own. The ratings are great and the majority of viewers aren't book readers. The only people overly critical of the show are obssessive complainers who merely watch the show to find fallacies to cry about. In my own experience, I know dozens who follow the show and 4 people that have actually read the books. The people who haven't read the books aren't having any problem keeping up and prefer to not talk about it. Actually, despite reading the books twice, the show has been a pretty good aide in understanding aspects of the book more clearly.

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Yeah. I always wonder if I want the book to spoil a movie for me or not, or how the experience would be different for me if I had not read the book first. One of the only movie-book combos where I read the book after seeing the movie was The Count of Monte Cristo and I really liked both of them. But they are very different after the first half or so.

I often wonder what I would think of the show if I had not been reading the books for over 10 years.

I don't know if anyone said it was a "little demanding." Some said it was really demanding and another defended that statement. That is what I disagreed with. It is probably a "little demanding" due to the amount of characters and story lines going on at once. I do not think that the foreshadowing, prophesying, subtleties, or other interesting and complex elements really make it more demanding because someone can immensely enjoy the books without being able to decipher any of that. They may make a reader appreciate the books more though, even if you don't figure everything out on your own.

So, I would stick to my original statement that they are not really demanding.

A little or a lot, I think the general consensus is that they can be a demanding read. I listed why I personally thought reading ASOIAF was demanding, with certain POVs I found boring, or the fact that GRRM can tend to go on and on with his descriptions. Wether we agree that they are challenging (or a little or a lot demanding :) ) we can ALL agree that they are great books!

...Right?

I actually think they are, but I'm not a reader so that could be why. Other than Harry Potter, ASOIAF are the only books I've read for pleasure. I didn't understand a lot of it after my first read. I couldn't keep track of the houses and their loyalties, the history, the names, the places, all of that. On the re-read everything made more sense. But they were hard for me to get through the first time around, and I definitely needed help from towerofthehand and the wiki.

Detail-oriented people and people who are good with names can pick stuff up on the first time, I'm sure. But I couldn't, and a lot of my friends who plan on reading the series probably won't finish it or they will be needing a lot of help to get through it. I've never before heard someone who has finished the series say it's "not at all demanding". This series takes effort. I believe for 99% of people this book is, at the very least, a little demanding.

Vis, I love your avatar! I had to look twice! And I know what you mean with help from the websites. I had to continually check awoiaf.westeros.org for help on understanding the Houses and whatnot. Looking at the list of characters on there can be overwhelming! I'm awful with names and I had to keep going to check who a certain person was, especially if they weren't listed in the appendix the books have.

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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? "

To be fair, I do think reading the books is significantly more time consuming unless you're like me and watch the episodes 10-20 times each.

To give an example I've listened to all the audiobooks and, because they are unabridged, they are about 40-50 hours each. That's like 80+ hours for the first 2 books. We probably read silently faster than we read aloud but still I think it takes way more time to read the books than to watch the shows.

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Yes. I think it is. All you need is an adequate attention span and a decent memory for all the characters/story arcs.

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Since he is DVR'ing it for me, my brother and his wife both started watching the show from the beginning. They both like it, but are a bit confused as to who all the characters are.

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To be fair, I do think reading the books is significantly more time consuming unless you're like me and watch the episodes 10-20 times each.

To give an example I've listened to all the audiobooks and, because they are unabridged, they are about 40-50 hours each. That's like 80+ hours for the first 2 books. We probably read silently faster than we read aloud but still I think it takes way more time to read the books than to watch the shows.

Really? I can read A Game of Thrones in three days, tops. I must be a pretty fast reader. Because twenty hours of TV seems like SO MUCH MORE than twenty hours of reading,

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Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to watch these last two seasons fresh, having not read the books. Would I still be sitting there annoyed? Probably, just because it seems so choppy. But I would not miss scenes that were cut or wonder why they put pointless scenes in.

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yes, definetly... I had that feeling yesterday when I watched episode 3; they showed Edmure and Brynden at the beginning; later they introduced the Blackfish properly, but in the entire episode nobody pronounced Edmure's name, and I believe many people are still asking themselves who is that really bad archer and what's his role

non to mention the whole Theon/Ramsay thing

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Really? I can read A Game of Thrones in three days, tops. I must be a pretty fast reader. Because twenty hours of TV seems like SO MUCH MORE than twenty hours of reading,

3 days is 72 hours. Without knowing how much you are reading a day, just saying 3 days is kind of meaningless. But yes, it sounds like you are probably a pretty fast reader.

If I had to estimate I would think I am around 15 hours for an ASOIF books, which is longer than watching a season.

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I don't think the show stands on it's own. I know 3 people that watch the show and haven't read the books. Two of them are my Mom and Dad. After each episode my Mom calls me and asks a thousand questions. My Dad is lost as hell no matter what and just watches because my Mom watches. Then I have a friend at work whos asks a million questions also. All 3 refuse to read the books because they aren't readers and don't have the time.

They all admit that without me explaining things to them they would be completely lost.

For non readers, most don't know a damn thing about RR. They know nothing about the Targs or the History of Westeros. They have no idea who fights for who or where the characters are. Relations are even harder. And things like Warging and green dreams? Forget it. They are just to hard to show in a TV show.

Unless you are paying VERY close attention it's very easy to miss things and become completely lost. Now with the show changing more and more things I think it's going to be even harder to follow. There are just WAY to many characters to follow for the average casual viewer. I know at the start of S3 my Mom had forgotten who the hell half the characters were. She forgot Davos completely.

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She forgot Davos completely?? I'm sorry dude but it doesn't sound like your mom is terribly invested in the show. People who watch the show and pay attention can follow it just fine, and people who just casually watch it can still enjoy the broad strokes of it.

You could just as easily say casual book readers can't follow the books because of how complex they are.

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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:

It's funny you should ask, because I was just thinking this.

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I never read the Harry Potter books, but I understood the movies just fine. I'm sure I didn't know all the little backstories and whatnot, but I never thought "I don't understand what's happening!! These movies are confusing!!"

EDIT: And I thought the fifth one was the best of the series. I assume that one counts as one of the "later" ones.

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I never read the Harry Potter books, but I understood the movies just fine. I'm sure I didn't know all the little backstories and whatnot, but I never thought "I don't understand what's happening!! These movies are confusing!!"

EDIT: And I thought the fifth one was the best of the series. I assume that one counts as one of the "later" ones.

You must have had a book reading friend to explain the two-way mirror in the last two films then :P

But yeah I think that the show certainly stands on it's own, as the TWOP forums attest to. Dedicated fans can figure things out. Even my rather unobservant mother can figure out what's going on.

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