Sunday, May 13, 2012

When Books Are Made Into TV Shows or Movies..

It's Sunday and for some relaxation time today I decided to catch up on my viewing of past episodes of HBO's series Game of Thrones.  I have written about this show before.  I first saw Game of Thrones some time in the fall of 2010.  Based upon the first episode of the first season I decided to undertake the reading of the series of books written by George Martin.  The name of the series of books is different than the show as it is called a "Song of Fire and Ice" however, the first book is called "The Game of Thrones".

Reading the entire series of these book is not necessarily an easy activity as each book is one thousand pages or longer and in the end there will be seven of them.  Presently only 5 of the books have been written and published.  HBO decided to turn the books into a multi-year series of shows.  Season two of the series coincides with Book Two which is called "A Clash of Kings". Reading these books is not like reading "War and Peace".  They are not difficult reads, it is just the shear amount of time that is needed to complete each book.

Up to this point I have been relatively OK with how the show has been adapted from the book.  There haven numerous little things that I have said to myself "didn't happen that way in the book".  For instance today I am watching either episode 3 or 4 of season 2 - as I have lost track of the episode numbers.  At one point in this episode the evil king (Joffrey) and his entourage are attacked by the people of the capital city.  In the show, the king and his crew are on foot walking back to his citadel.  In the book, it was a much larger party of people and they were all mounted on horseback traversing a long distance within the city.  Something like this is what I would call a minor distraction from the writing in the book.

There is a really blatant deviation from the book that is driving me crazy however.  One of the other kings vying for power in this turbulent time is known as King Robb of the North.  In the book they totally and completely gloss over how Robb comes to marry his wife who is the daughter of some lowly noble.  There is no interaction between these characters written about in the book.  In the end it is just presented as fact as Robb is married to this lowly noble.  Whereas in the TV show they are showing him interacting with her and building into a pivotal part of the story.  To say that I am disappointed by the stuff that they are adding is a bit of an understatement.  It kind of ruins the show for me, because it is made to attract the largest audience as possible as opposed to being true to the book.

In the last 10 years I really think filmmakers have done a great job adapting some "classic" books to movie and TV show formats.  In particular, I think the adaptation of the Harry Potter Books and Lord of The Rings were pretty darn good.  I think the Lord of the Rings was particularly hard to adapt to a movie format as it was so huge and epic, but Peter Jackson stayed relatively true to the books.  In Harry Potter the producers and directors similarly did a good job - my only complaint about those movies was that they cut what I considered to be some really interesting ancillary plots that were in the books.  But in fairness to the Harry Potter Movies had they not done that those movies would have run for 4 - 5 hours each.

I guess my complaint about "Game of Throne" is that instead of cutting things - which I can understand, they added something that didn't happen in the book.  That is just something I can't understand!  Oh well - I am not a movie maker so I guess I should stop the criticism.

Speaking of "Game of Thrones", Peter Dinklage the person who plays the Imp, the dwarf, the half-man, whatever you want to call him on the show was featured last week on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine.  The character he plays in the show - Tyrion is probably the most complex and interesting character in both the HBO Series and the books.  What makes it interesting is it would seem from the interview in Rolling Stone that the actor and the character have many things in common.  I am not normally a huge fan of Rolling Stone, but the profile article done on him was truly interesting.  I guess the key thing from the article is how the actor is a person that doesn't necessarily fit in to the world around him.  Regardless - he has done an amazing job building his acting credentials and to top it off he is hilarious as hell!  So if you get a chance to read the article is worth a look.  I couldn't find a web link to it or I would have posted it here.

It's been a long and busy Mother's Day today as Zack and I had a bunch of things to get done and then we spent a bunch of time with Nancy and the rest of my family.  It's now 10:20PM and I will say I am really tired by I still have a bunch of things to do.  Oh well - it will be another typical Sunday night without a lot of sleep.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and was able to spend time with their families on this Mother's Day.

Thanks and peace to all! ~J.

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