Around fifteen years ago I picked up a book named A Game Of Thrones by one George R R Martin. I read it and was amazed. I hunted down the next book A Clash Of Kings and was blown away. I quickly found A Storm Of Swords and thought that the series known as A Song Of Ice And Fire was the best work of literature currently being written.
My love for the series compelled me to read all three books again, and to seek out others who loved this series as I did. I met one of my best friends as a result. I read all three books again so that I could seek out the hidden truths GRRM sprinkled throughout the books. I continued to be amazed by them. And I waited for the next book.
And waited. And waited. And waited. After years of waiting the news came out that A Feast For Crows was being published! Joyously I read the first three books again in preparation for AFFC and I discussed all the possible plot lines and ideas of what the story might hold. I hoped the book would be as amazing as the first three. I worried it wouldn’t be. I picked it up and started to read. I was amazed all over again. When an author takes a character that you HATED and causes you to start loving that same character then you have witnessed true magic. Truly rare magic.
I settled in to wait for the next book. Preparing myself for the wait. And waited. And waited. Then something strange happened. A tv show? Really? Ok, but the story isn’t finished yet! How can you air a tv show before the story is over? What if the books aren’t finished first? Would you let this tv show spoil the books? What if the actors are different from what I picture? What if the directors mess up the story? How will you convey the depth of this series? Why would GRRM allow this to happen? Yet he did. And the show was very successful. A lot of people loved it. The audience grew.
Meanwhile they announced A Dance With Dragons was about to be released. I picked up A Game Of Thrones and read through the whole series again. I read ADWD. I discussed it with my friends. I enjoyed it. Yet I realized something depressing. Everyone really wanted to talk about the tv show. About the actors and if they were doing a good job. Don’t you love the sets? Aren’t the costumes amazing? Did you see what they did on the tv show?
I stopped watching the tv show after the first season. Not because it was bad. It was fine. I quit watching it for two reasons. First: I didn’t want someone else’s interpretation of the series or characters coloring my concepts and views of the series. Secondly: I didn’t want to get attached to a tv show that might bypass the books.
The tv show is bypassing the books. This is awful to me as I want to enjoy the books as GRRM writes them. It means I have to avoid potential spoilers about this show. t means I can’t discuss this series with my friends, because even well meaning unintentional things they’d want to say about the show will frustrate me as it points to possible plot lines that haven’t happened and might not happen in the books. It takes A Song Of Ice And Fire away from many of us readers and replaced it with Game Of Thrones as HBO interprets it. And yes I know GRRM has his hand in this tv show and approves of it. That’s fine. I’m even happy for you if you love and enjoy the tv show. But that show isn’t ASOIAF for me. It saddens me that this is happening. It takes some of the fun and joy away from the books for me. But it is happening and many are celebrating it. I just can’t join in on the celebration with them.
For those of you that can’t wait for the conclusion of the tv show I do hope you enjoy it. I’ll be avoiding it and any discussion of it. I do feel a bit cheated out of something special by how GRRM has allowed this to progress, and I hope other authors take note of this and choose to wait on tv/movie deals until the series has progressed closer to the end. Authors don’t “owe” their readers anything, it is true. That’s just a request from a reader. I hope it is considered.
And I hope to avoid spoilers of a book series that has meant so much to me for so long.