A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) A Game of Thrones question


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How closely does the Game of Thrones series follow the book storyline?
John86 John86 (last edited May 11, 2011 06:41PM ) May 09, 2011 01:15PM
I'm not the type of person who likes to wait for something to come out, in fact, I absolutely despise waiting - it makes me lose interest in whatever I'm waiting for.

So, I was idly browsing the tv one day when Game of Thrones debuted. At the first ten minutes I naturally assumed it was a film, since it seemed so well made, but then I realized it was a series. I liked the first episode, so I continued watching them all as they were released. And after a searching it on wikipedia I saw that it was from the series of book 'A song of Ice and Fire' - which I had heard about before, but since it was unfinished I decided not to dabble myself in it.

But, good lord, I'm hooked. It infuriates me whenever an episode end leaving the viewer on a cliffhanger yearning for more. And that - yes, that, is what I mentioned in the first paragraph, I hate waiting.

Bottom line is, how closely does the book and the tv show story line relates? How much would I have to read to catch up to where the show left?

I'm flustered, don't know whether I should devour the books and wait for more as they come along lord knows when or just continue watching the tv show yearning for more episodes.

Edit: Thank you for the opinions. I've decided to give the book a go, knowing that in the long run I will be craving for more, I was really curious nonetheless.



The series is following the basic plot of the books fairly closely. When it comes down to it, you get a much richer storyline from the books. As someone who enjoys both, I would maybe recommend reading the first book AFTER season one, while you're waiting for season two. I find that knowing everything that's going to happen in the tv show makes it a little less exciting for me than for my friends who don't see the twists and turns coming. Plus, you'll have that cliffhanger at the end of the season and wish you had more to watch - insert book one here.


The only tangible diference between the book and the tv show comes down to the medium each of them uses, in the books the story is told from the PoV of the various characters so many of the details regarding the relationships between them are laid down through the thoughs of the characters, while in the tv series they avoid both inner dialog and flashbacks, and instead add a couple of scenes that show us those things.
but when it comes down to plot and the general feeling the series has up till now kept very faithfull to the book, and very good read you should have BUT (and this is a very big but) if you really don't like waiting perhaps you should seriously reconsidered, because this is an unfinished series (three books yet to be published) and the author is widely known for making us wait, and by wait I mean omg it's been five years and still no book five


It amazed me as the first season aired how many of the show's viewers had never heard of the books, and had no idea of the major surprises in store for them towards the end of the season. I'm glad that you got hooked on the books, because you'll be amazed at how closely the writers and producers have followed the storylines of the books. HBO was the perfect network to air this series, and I am literally marking days off my calendar until the premier of season 2!!!!!


I haven't read the first book in a long time but the series seems to be following the storyline correctly so far.

I haven't developed a firm opinion of the tv show yet. As a fan of the books, I enjoy seeing the story acted out. On the other hand, if I wasn't already interested in the story, I might dismiss the tv series as yet another HBO sex and violence fest. Unfortunately, the tv series can't possibly have the depth of character development and the shifts in perspective that make the books so great. Of course, I'm going to keep watching so I can see *all of the awesome things in the books that I can't mention because they would be spoilers* come to life.

If you start reading the books, keep in mind that only 4 of the 7 books have been released so far. Furthermore, the fifth book is being released this July, 6 years after the previous one. Martin will not be rushed into finishing these books. If you need instant gratification, these are not the books you want to read.


Read the books. Always read the books. :)


I started reading first book after recommendation from my friend... hesitant at the beginning(can't quite stomach commercial side of the show... what's up with all the books covers splashed across with movie characters?) I can not stop now.
I know now that show is great as well ( the same's friend blabbering) and first episode supposedly only covered something like 50 pages. Not much, considering that the first volume is rather lengthy (which I love, since more to enjoy it).
I can not imagine that they would do more than one book per season.... Look at The "Pillars of the Earth" series! One book, one season, more still to come! By the way, can not wait for it either.


So far, so good. I really liked how the White Walkers were portrayed as being more human than ghostly, and yet still mysterious and dreadful. I hope, and am sure, we'll see more of them in the future.


Excellent books (apart from the 4th one) and excellent series. It's been years since I read the first book, but I think the series follows it pretty well. Some details, such as Littlefinger openly explaining his motives to an untrustworthy audience (even if they were preoccupied) don't ring quite true to the characters, but - overall - I find nothing to complain about in how the series has been carried out.


I read all the books except the first one after seeing the first season of game of thrones and had no trouble at all following the plot, so I assume the series is very close to the book.


Started reading the books about six months ago, and absolutely love them. The POVs are great, because you see things from so many different angles. Also makes the book incredibly dynamic (the clever pithiness of Tyrion, the innocent wonder of Bran, the desperate wiles of Catelyn, etc.).


I'm waiting for my copy of A Dance with Dragons (from Amazon)...
Two things: 1) the books are amazing. 2) The HBO series is awesom.


I find it hard to watch the HBO series episode by episode, when I already know what will happen (finished book month before series started). It is interesting to see Martin's characters come to life on the screen, but think I will wait till the season is complete and then have a marathon viewing.

I think you'll get much more enjoyment out of reading the book for its well contrived plot twists and character development, and then enjoying the Hollywood version for what it is. It might be too late though, Sean Bean will probably be permanently burned into your brain as Eddard Stark when you read the novel. I didn't picture him like that at all, lol.


To answer the discussion question, the TV series follows the books so closely that very often the characters on screen use lines of their own dialogue from the books. The first season was incredible, and I hope that the creators and producers continue that level of attention to detail for the rest of the show's run (which will hopefully be about 7 or 8 seasons, depending on how lengthy Martin makes his book series). I discovered these books four years ago, and I'm finishing the first four books a second time in preparation for the release of the fifth volume on July 12! I have been waiting for four years for the release of "Dance With Dragons", and Martin has said that it will be the same size as "Storm Of Swords". I can't wait!!!!!!!


Honestly Id say that the series was pretty accurate with the book. I actually sped read the entire first book before the series started and it followed it to the tee, in my opinion. Im slowly forcing myself to get through the second book but its a little difficult for me since the book itself starts off a little slow and then picks up towards the middle and end.


Every episode is about 90 pages in the book :D But if you hate waiting then I have to tell you that we've been waiting mr. martin for the last 5 years to write "A Dance with Dragons" and after that hopefully there will be two more books before the story ends. Meaning, if you like the story you'll finish the first 5 books this year and then probably wait for the last two for the next ten years or so!!! you've been warned :P


I must admit I only read "Game of thrones" because if the tv series, but I'm glad I did because I absolutely love the book series. I just finished the second book and I'm still hooked. Although I am nervous about "Feast of Crows" because of the reviews, but I guess everyone's opinion is different.
I think HBO did (is doing) a great job. I'm glad they made a series out of these because I'm able to keep all the characters straight in my head. I can't wait for next season.


It follows the book pretty well but the sequence of events in the book is not exactly the same as the tv show, as far as following it chapter by chapter. It goes a little quicker than the book because you're not reading what people are thinking. The actors are actually doing it and you have to figure out what they are thinking, if they're not saying it.


deleted member Jun 11, 2011 06:44AM   0 votes
I've just started reading book 4, A Feast for Crows, and I have read a couple of relatively negative reviews of it, so I'm kind of holding my breath for being disappointed. I've loved the three previous although I did need to take a break somewhere in the middle of book 3. I stopped watching the TV series. I liked it, but was distracted by costumes, scenery, and other visual elements which are not really vital to the story. But then, I am sort of "over" the TV thing, I only watch a little news each day, and then turn it off.

I'm not too worried about waiting for the next books. Just like life, things arrive in their own time, and I'm not the scheduler.


In my opinion it was dead on...ii kind of hoped they would change a few things to make it less sad but they kept to the story. the only thing i could find that wasnt in the book was renly and the night of flowers ser loras tyrell being gay. which i look at it now and the rainbow guard, tyrell always being with renly etc it should have been obvious to me but it wasnt. i am so pleased they did such a good job with it, cant wait for more...especially after reading dance with dragons


I prefer when the POV rotates between characters. It keeps the story fresher somehow. I've just realized from Michael's last comment that most of my physical library is multi POV.


Hazel (last edited Sep 19, 2011 01:52AM ) Sep 19, 2011 01:50AM   0 votes
The first season of the programme finishes in exactly the same place as the book. You've had a bit more plot exposition in the programme than in the first book, so you'd be best off reading the books from the beginning, and getting everything put in place properly. PLus the books are better, and considering how good the series is, that's saying something. But if you hate waiting, then take your time reading them, because if you get to the end of book 5 before book 6 is due to be released, you'll tear your hair out in your impatience.


I've managed to get through all five novels. The television series is starting to depart in the details
but the fact is that good acting and good television adaptation can be entertaining as well as the books, even when they differ.

In fact, I think most that have read the books would admit that the characters are almost too complex to be portrayed in other media. Throw in the costs to film some of the things in the books, and there will have to be a difference.

The question will be as the series continues will it follow the printed story fairly closely, or will it turn into True Blood...which has taken names and character names and began a different tale than the books.

Martin's tale is good reading. The HBO series is good viewing.


I had this series on my "to read" list but when the HBO series was coming out I moved it up. I was actually reading the first book while I watched the 1st season of the HBO series. I was surprised by how faithful they stayed to the book, with dialogue directly from the text. I would read a few chapters and then watch the corresponding episode. It was very enjoyable.
Now I'm so caught up in the stories and characters I am just starting book 4. My favorite characters are Jon Snow, Arya, and Tyrion.


Like you, I have trouble waiting. I love the series, and went out and bought the first book, which I've finished. Can't wait to read the rest of them. This promises to be the best fantasy series since Tolkein! Now I have trouble focusing on the series episodes, since I know what happens next!


I read the book 1 and 2 of the series, they are great. However, I decided to put down the whole series until the series is completely released. For those who haven't start yet, I seriously recommend you don't read them as you will definitely completely forget everything inside the series after the endless delay for each new release.


the POV technique was well and good because the book series really has a lot of characters. It would be interesting to see how well hbo will do casting for these characters i've grown to love. HBO has stayed true to the storyline; which is what i hope they will do come the next seasons.
a word of advice to those who will start reading/watching. DO NOT INVEST YOUR EMOTION TOO MUCH ON A CHARACTER. GRRM likes to kill off people (some of them you might really really like) which will probably reduce you into pieces.


I am loving the series but I think it's going to become more and more difficult for them to follow the story lines closely. There are so many characters and they split into so many directions, even GRRM had to split the fourth book into two (with #5 still to come, we hope), with book #4 covering the southern kingdoms and (eventually) book #5 covering the northern kingdoms.

I find myself wanting to re-read the series, but my son absconded with them.

I think HBO has done a really great job. I'm looking forward to seeing how they handle the increasingly complex relationships and movements.


I was enjoying the series and felt it was pretty faithful until last week (These are my favorite fantasy books). Renly and Loras? WTF?


It's pretty close, but it also adds scenes that don't involve any of the POV characters from the book (so weren't in it). These seem pretty good, but sometimes make things a lot less subtle than they were in the book (episode five most especially).


I think the TV show is one of the best book-to-screen adaptations I've ever seen. George RR Martin has been involved in the show, and I understand that he wrote a couple of the episodes. That proves to me that the producers are dedicated to keeping on track with his story.

All the lives in this book are so intertwined that any minor change to the plot could throw off a storyline in the entire series.

It is so hard to wait for the next book (or tv show) once you've fallen in love with a series. All this momentum builds up and then comes to a screaching halt.


I read Game of Thrones and I'm 13!! Ahhh, I like to brag.


Brock (last edited Jun 14, 2011 05:33PM ) Jun 14, 2011 05:23PM   0 votes
At Gregg, I am in the middle of reading the books, and it is pretty obvious that Renly and Loras are gay. Err, were. My question: does the show give anything away from books 3 and 4?


I have now bought all 4 books and i haven't start reading them. I have watched the series as well, and i want to read in the books what will happen in common episodes, but i just can't find it. I'm at episode 6 season 2 (series), and i wanna continue the story but reading the book not watching series. can somebody tell me what page and which book i have to read to continue from episode 6 season 2 ??? please help, GAME OF THRONES is a DRUG ! :D


John86 wrote: "I'm not the type of person who likes to wait for something to come out, in fact, I absolutely despise waiting - it makes me lose interest in whatever I'm waiting for.

So, I was idly browsing the t..."

I just finished reading the 3rd book. Loved them all. I'm also enjoying the HBO series.


This game is great since you will choose the class of your characters, find your fighting style, reach a good balance between your strengths and weaknesses. Such role playing games and Action Games are always my favorite.


Michael (last edited May 11, 2011 06:16PM ) May 11, 2011 06:16PM   -2 votes
I tried to read the book, but I really disliked it. It annoys the hell out of me when a book changes characters every two pages.
So i'm glad they have made it into a series I can enjoy.

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Michael T Shogun is regarded as one of the greatest historical novels of all time; truly amazing... also one of the longest books of all time coming in at over ...more
Feb 21, 2012 11:44PM
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Michael T All his books are known as the "Asian Saga."
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