A little over three years ago I finished reading all published books of George R.R Martins, A Song of Ice and Fire. I, like many other fans of the series have been waiting for the publication of the much anticipated sixth novel, The Winds of Winter. In the meantime the television series has gained some serious traction. Last year it topped the list of the most pirated TV shows in the world (link). The first episode of season six counted about 7.9 million viewers for the live broadcast (this number reaches significantly higher if you count the amount of downloaders and the amount of people who watched the episode after it aired). I guess what I’m saying here, is that ultimately the television show is huge. All fans of Game of Thrones are well aware that as season six airs the readers are set on the edge of their seats as much as the viewers. This is because the show has done something that has not occurred often in the past-it has overtaken the books in terms of story line.
During the previous seasons I had the privilege of sitting smugly in my chair having a good idea of what was about to happen. Now? I don’t know what to expect. Many readers have expressed their frustration at this and of course-their frustration that Winds of Winter is still to be published. However as a fan of the series and of the television show I find myself thoroughly excited about what is happening in each episode every week. No longer can I smugly indicate that I know what is about to happen. Instead I’m able to discuss and debate with my workmates, my friends and my family who have not read the series about what is going to happen each week. For me being able to do this has been a thoroughly exciting experience. Being one of a few to read the books prior to the show taking over from the books I wasn’t often able to debate such theories.
This brings us back to another debate-how accurate television adaptations are from books. Many people have complained time and again of how accurate television and movie portrayals of books are. Most of the time, there is a limited appreciation for what is done in the television show. This is the second reason the show taking over from the books doesn’t bother me. Because as a fan of the television show and of the books I’m happy to see them as different entities showing different storylines. There are things in the book which don’t translate well to the screen, therefore I can accept the sacrifices that are made for the television show. More than often, these developments interest me as I try to think of why the changes were made and what it means for future episodes.
With just a few episodes of season six left I’m eagerly anticipating what’s going to happen next. After all the television show is created for entertainment and I can’t think of anything more entertaining than having no idea what’s going to happen next.
How do you feel about the television show taking over from the books? Let me know in the comments below!