Game of Thrones Fan Art & HBO Series Review, Part 1Posted: June 17, 2012
SPOILER WARNING! – This review compares aspects of both Game of Thrones season two of the show, and Game of Thrones book two “A Clash of Kings”, part of the “Song of Ice and Fire” series by J.R.R. Martin.
Sunday night at 9pm I watched the season two finale of the HBO series Game Of Thrones along with millions of other viewers. Compared to the books, I feel the script writers were moving quite quickly through the content, but I also know it would be impossible to capture every scene, character, and experience from the second book into a ten hour television season. What season two did accomplish was staying true to the feeling and imagery of the book series. The show appears to be a very abridged version of the books.
For example, many prominent characters were either glossed over or missing entirely. Daenerys Targaryen’s character has much more development in the book. Jon Snow’s character feels somewhat skewed with the lack of development and other character relationships he’s missing. Jaime Lannister’s character approach in the show has left me feeling he was not as honorable or morally just, but now feels more ill-natured and unlikable. Arya Stark’s character was suppose to have a much bigger role in killing numerous people in Harrenhal, which in the book made her more in control of her own actions and inspiring. In the show Arya seems that way as well, but not to the same extent. There can be ways of showing a character’s plot cycle in a shorter timeline, but then the viewer/reader misses important information that can only be built over time. One thing I noticed overall, was that each character’s words and actions seem more reckless and short sighted.
Some prominent places in the books have been glossed over in the show as well. Riverrun was meant to be where most of the book took place. At least three main characters were there for long periods of time: Rob Stark, Catelyn Stark, and Jaime Lannister. In the show, Riverrun was spoken of, but we never actually see it. Instead the writers have replaced Riverrun with many scenes of the Starks and Northmen in tents and camps.
There were some key differences in plot from the books to the television show. The plot point that sticks out to me the most was that Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons were stolen. That never happened in the books. A major story aspect almost entirely missing from the show but present in the books was the “green sight”. Green sight was the ability for characters to see events that may happen as well as seeing events happening in the present, but in a different geographical location. All the Stark children, except for Sansa Stark, had visions into this green sight because of their relationship with their dire wolves. Sansa does not have this relationship since her wolf was killed towards the beginning of book/season one. Bran Stark was meant to be the most influenced by the green sight. This “gift” was meant to be an ancient and rare skill, but was also described as myths of questionable nature which were difficult to comprehend correctly. Supposedly, most of the “magic” present in the world left when all the dragons were wiped out. However, now that three dragons are alive and thriving with Daenerys, magic begins to crop up everywhere. Wild fire went from being extremely difficult to concoct to a major military asset in the war on Kings Landing with Stannis Baratheon.
Again, overall the show does a great job at capturing the books. I was impressed with the show’s ability to visualize some of the most important action sequences and climaxes of the story. However, I can’t help but feeling how much better it would be if the show could be fifteen one hour episodes instead of ten. J.R.R. Martin has a big world to show us. Having more time to show all the dense content he has written, would not be a bad thing. I’ll be waiting the next year on baited breath for Game of Thrones season three.
There were other differences between the show and the books as well, but I did not want to focus on them in this post. More to come in part two!